Words While We Wait: Poetry and verse as public art project

By Lindsay Advocate

With National Poetry Month approaching this April, Kawartha Lakes is excited to launch a temporary public art project to help build a sense of place and a shared understanding of experiences during these unprecedented times.

“Words While We Wait” is a project all residents can take part in, by submitting poems and verses related to the pandemic for a chance to have their words turned into public art.

“These days it feels like we’re constantly waiting: waiting to leave our homes, waiting to hug our friends and family, waiting for things to return to some state of normal. In such times of change and isolation, it’s important to support each other and share our thoughts and feelings. This call is intended to offer a personal way to express our collective experience,” commented Donna Goodwin, economic development officer – Arts and Culture.

“While we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to end, we hope this project gives everyone a chance to share space and connect with each other in a creative and meaningful way.”

Poems and verse can be submitted to the Words While We Wait online form until February 22, 2021. Selected submissions will then be paired with members of the Kawartha Arts Network to be illustrated and displayed on the Kawartha Art Gallery website, as well as Kawartha Lakes Public Transit signage and other public media and partner platforms for viewing.

Guidelines of the program

To participate in the 2021 exhibition, all submissions must meet the following requirements:

  • From a resident of Kawartha Lakes who is 16 years or older
  • Poems must have been created between March 2020 and the call’s deadline
  • Literary style is poetry
  • Subject matter must include themes and some words associated with the pandemic – terms available on request
  • Installation specifications require that poems can be no more than 250 words
  • Include a short bio and the community where the poetry was created
  • Deadline for submissions is February 22, 2021

Exhibition Schedule

  • February 22, 2021 – Deadline for submissions
  • February 26, 2021 – Exhibition will be juried
  • March 2021 – Poems will be paired with participating artists for illustration
  • April 2021 – Art installations start

Selected images will be reproduced in digital format for installation purposes.

Kawartha Lakes is committed to equity and inclusion in all aspects of its operations, and welcomes submissions from artists of all backgrounds including, but not limited to, Indigenous, Black, and persons of colour; refugee, newcomer and immigrant persons; Two-Spirit, LGBTQ+ and gender non-binary persons, persons with disabilities and people of all identities.

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