When Just Buffalo Literary Center (JBLC) had to close its doors in March 2020 due to COVID-19, the staff began looking for a way to continue its mission of strengthening communities through the literary arts.
According to Barbara Cole, JBLC’s Artistic & Associate Executive Director, sidewalk poetry was a good fit for creating opportunities for the community to connect to literary arts, without person-to-person contact.
Cole explained that several pieces of poetry are spray chalked weekly all around Buffalo. The poems and prose excerpts that make up the sidewalk poems all come from authors connected to Buffalo, and celebrate the city’s literary legacy – an initiative JBLC coined as LIT CITY.
“Our hope is that these encounters with literature provide a moment of surprise, joy and connection for the people who see them,” said Noah Falck, JBLC’s Education Director. “This is an isolating, stressful time for all of us—poetry reminds us that we’re not alone in our experience of the world, so we also hope it’s a reminder of community.”
Follow Just Buffalo Literary Center to see where the next sidewalk poems will be created: