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Sidewalk Poems Celebrate LIT CITY

Nowadays, sidewalks are not just for walking, they are also for reading. Thanks to the ongoing literacy efforts of Just Buffalo Literary Center, a stroll downtown will evoke a lot more than a means to an end. That’s because there is a clever poetry effort underway that sees poems stenciled onto sidewalks in Downtown Buffalo, and (fingers crossed) throughout the city. Today’s artistic effort culminates with a Words on the Street: Block Party* (Thursday, October 11, from 6pm to 8pm). But the poems will be around long after the event ends, thus allowing passersby to reflect on their meaning.

In the lead image, artist/designer Joel Brenden is seen laying down a work by acclaimed poet Robert Creeley (1926-2005) who co-founded Poetics Program at Buffalo. Inset is a poem by Buffalo poet Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), who was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Poet Noah Falck says that these are just two of many poems that have been chosen to adorn sidewalks via this ongoing project.

LIT CITY is a public art initiative which highlights Buffalo’s renowned literary legacy.

The artistic effort is meant to get people to stop, think, and be appreciative of literature and poetry, which can often elude us if we are not willing to open a book. This guerrilla effort ensures that we are all exposed to poetry, whether we’re looking for it or not – call it poetic license, if you will.

*Just Buffalo Writing Center | 468 Washington Street | 2nd floor

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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