Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

    • u-h-d31ce50ad6d5-jpg
    • u-h-8075ae9047ba-jpg
    • u-h-427791d0b61f-jpg

Poetry Paths

  • poetry paths logo

A Public Art Project in the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Imagine a poem stitched into a quilt that is hung in the window of the Lancaster Quilt Museum near Central Market, or an automated auditory poem activated by passersby as the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design glows in the growing dusk. Imagine poems inscribed on and in large-scale sculpture as well as custom sidewalk inserts you can follow across the city.  

POETRY PATHS, a public visual and literary art project produced in collaboration by the Writers House at Franklin & Marshall College and the City of Lancaster Public Works Department and Office of the Mayor, will incorporate the written word into the Lancaster streetscape using sculpture, pavement inserts, and blank urban canvases such as brick warehouse walls, stoops, and store fronts.  Featuring poems by eminent poets commissioned for the project and texts by local writers including children, POETRY PATHS will commission and install two- and three-dimensional visual art visible to both pedestrians and travelers by car and pavement inserts, murals and plaques meant to be found “under foot,” throughout the City of Lancaster.   The completed pieces will be installed in neighborhoods from May 2010 through the spring of 2011, at which time visitors to Lancaster, virtual tourists, and city residents will be able to use a downloadable map or a virtual tour available on their cell phones to follow the trails of words throughout the City.  In person and online, curious readers who embark down POETRY PATHS will witness how poetry's words in public spaces can seed new perspectives, make seams where before there were empty spaces or boundaries, and create a living song within, about, and for the city of Lancaster.

In addition to creating a public art project throughout the City, POETRY PATHS also presents literary events and related programming in Lancaster City.  Beginning in the fall of 2009, we have begun leading poetry workshops in Lancaster City Schools and community centers, churches and non-profit sites. Over the years, Poetry Paths will continue to develop innovative programming around the Paths to bring new voices to the City and increase our residents’ ongoing access to the visual and literary arts.  

POTERY PATHS is funded by the  Lancaster County Community Foundation, envisioned by the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House of Franklin & Marshall College, and produced by the Writers House and the City of Lancaster Public Works Department and Office of the Mayor.  The staff of POETRY PATHS is supported by an Advisory Committee charged with representing the diversity and interests of Lancaster’s residents throughout the project.