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City of Boston in partnership with Mass Poetry unveils "Raining Poetry"

May 27, 2016

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The new public art installations reveal invisible poetry when it rains.

The City of Boston's Office of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Public Art Commission and Mass Poetry recently unveiled "Raining Poetry," a new set of public art installations that can be seen in several locations across the city that reveal invisible poetry on the sidewalk when it rains.

"As we've heard through feedback from the Boston Creates process, the people of Boston want to see more public art throughout the city," said Mayor Walsh. "Raining Poetry is a great example of a unique installation that showcases the work of local poets in a way that is engaging and creative, offering passerby's the chance to catch a piece of poetry hidden in plain sight."

"We are excited about the Raining Poetry installations that are capturing the attention and sparking interest among all those who pass by," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "I thank Mass Poetry for their partnership in bringing this idea to fruition and look forward to exploring additional ways to enrich the lives of Boston's residents and visitors through public art projects."  

Using a biodegradable water-repellent spray that vanishes once dry, the poems remain invisible until it rains. Once wet, the area around the poem will darken, exposing the poem to all those who pass by.

"Mass Poetry strives to bring poetry to the public, and Raining Poetry is a fun, unique way to do that," said Sara Siegel, Program Director at Mass Poetry. "We hope that finding a hidden poem on the sidewalk will brighten a dreary day."  

To date, the City's Mural Crew has installed four poems at four different locations across the city. The locations include the areas around: Dudley Square Café (Lower Roxbury), The Strand Theater (Uphams Corner, Dorchester), Adams Park (Roslindale) and Hyde Park Public Library (Hyde Park).  

Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Georges selected the first four poems by poets with ties to Massachusetts.

The poems include:  

[untitled] 
Gary Duehr
(Upham's Corner)   

Still Here 
Langston Hughes 
(Dudley Square)  

[untitled] 
The Tracks We Leave (U. of Illinois Press) 
Barbara Helfgott Hyett 
(Roslindale)

Water 
The Red Thread
Elizabeth McKim 
(Hyde Park) 

While the water-repellent spray wears off in six to eight weeks, the Raining Poetry organizers plan to continue the invisible poetry movement throughout Boston, with poems in Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole to reflect the neighborhoods where the poems will reside.

For more information about the Mayor's Mural crew, please visit here and for more information about Mass Poetry, please visit here.