Snow Poems is a community poetry venture, originating in Santa Fe, which explores cities as “living books.” Windows throughout the city are stenciled, using temporary spray snow, with original poetry created
in free workshops. The poems are readable from the streets. Produced simultaneously are location maps, an updated website, and a final book linking the poetry of the other participating cities.
We as citizens are constantly interacting with the landscape of our cities, but we don’t always consider our power to shape and define this space. Contrasting with the bombardment of advertising and public signage, public poetry offers points of stillness, and provides a venue for exploring and discussing how we humanly inhabit our own cities. Snow poems happen in the dead of winter, a season for the incubation of ideas and are washed away in time for the arrival of spring.
We hope the process of writing, reading, and experiencing the poems jars us into reconnection with what is important and meaningful. By providing free poetry workshops for diverse groups within communities, we expect to spark meaningful conversation and collaboration. Citizens become the authors of their own living books: cities become public records of human emotion and experience.
The visual simplicity of the Snow Poems project relies on the labor of many people. We plan to use the grant for poets stipends, to pay artists for installation and de-installation, documentation (website, photography), primary artist’s stipend for organizing the project, printing the location map, materials, and supplies.
We are currently finding 25 participating window fronts. We will hold free poetry workshops in November and December. Selected poems will be installed at the beginning of January and de-installed at the end of February. In January, we will print location maps that will be distributed at poem locations.
This project uses poetry to engage with and bring together the people of Santa Fe. Since the workshops and installations will be scattered throughout the city, we hope to encourage reflection and conversation while walking, driving, dining, etc.
We started the collective in order to emerge out of our isolation as mothers, writers, and artists. We now would like to work on a public scale that we hadn’t imagined possible as individuals. We desire hearing the voices in our public spaces that reflect the vibrant population of Santa Fe.
This project will support local writers and artists with employment.