I am working with the City of San Jose Public Art Program, Environmental Services Department and the Anti-Litter Program to help develop the LITTER-ature Project. Our goal is to put San Jose youth poetry on brand new public litter cans throughout the city. We’ve created a contest to help us select the most pertinent, entertaining and thought-provoking poetry and are now taking submissions for short poetry written by middle school and high school students throughout San José.
The contest will be juried by professional poets such as Arlene Biala and yours truly, along community members who will select several poems from all of the submissions. Those winning poems will become permanent artwork that will be affixed to several hundred new public litter cans to be installed throughout San José business districts in 2019. Also, the top 20 submissions will receive a $50 gift card.
The submission process is online and very easy, requiring very little information from students. Due to space limitations on the litter cans, we are asking students to submit up to five very short poems like haiku or tanka, for example. They can be very serious, or very, very funny, as long the poem expresses concern, accountability, responsibility or care for the environment and our growing need to put litter in its place.
All entries must be submitted by noon on November 15th, 2018. Winners will be announced by December 14th, 2018.
As you can see, our deadline is coming up quick, so we just need to get the word out to young poets, whether they live in the city or attend any middle school or high school in San Jose. Students can go to litter-ature.info to read more and submit their poems online.