Provided by ATW
This past summer, Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writer’s Club, launched an area-wide poetry installation entitled “Poems Around Town.” The program has been growing steadily, reaching businesses and organizations in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park who are helping to bring poetry to the public.
The brainchild of WbtR vice president Jan Rayl, the arts initiative is meant to encourage residents and visitors to stop and read a piece of literary art they might not otherwise even glance at, something short that will get them thinking in a different way.
Poems Around Town works very simply, says club president Katherine Gotthardt. “We create and print a design with a member’s poem on standard size paper. Each poem is put in a frame for placement wherever the hosting organization would like. The more visible, the better.” The hosting organization is then put on the club’s website and regularly promoted through their Facebook page.
The poems are family friendly. There is no cost to the location owner, and promotion of the hosting organization will remain active as long as the installation remains visible there.
Thirty-three locations have already become hosts, including Manassas City Hall, Manassas Park Community Center, Occoquan Town Hall, McCall Studio Gallery and Trinity Episcopal, along with myriad local businesses such as Imagine, Sweet Society, Preston’s Pub, Chico’s, Bach to Rock Bristow and Ruby Tuesday Woodbridge. The club would like to see 50 locations become installation hosts.