CURRENT CALL FOR POEMS: As the city's poet laureate, I want to hear about the experiences of Houstonians during this difficult time. Please share your experiences--frustrations, worry, sorrow or hope-- in lines of poetry, a sentence, a paragraph of your personal journey. These experiences can be shared anonymously. Houstonians of any age are welcome to submit.
Comments shared through this site will be curated to create a communal poem about the experiences of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow #HOUShelterInHope to see the progress of the project. You can also share your experiences for this project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 832-387-5581 (a voicemail only number), or using the library form.
Bayou City Broadsides is the community poetry project of Houston Poet Laureate Leslie Contreras Schwartz. The poetry broadsides, which are one-page artistic displays of lines from poems, will feature the poems of everyday Houstonians on the Houston Public Library web site and social media with the tagline #HoustonWeHavePoems.
Houston citizens are encouraged to submit poems written from poet laureate workshops and community outreach programming, and related library activities. All Houstonians can write their own broadside poem and submit it to be shared on the Houston Poet Laureate Instagram page—written either by hand and photographed or created with a design app--and are encouraged to repost poems from the project that inspire them to share the love of poetry.
What is a broadside? Traditionally broadsides were single-page one-side posters to share important news or for political and military information posted on doors in public spaces. Now they are used to create artistic displays of poems, either full poems or lines from poems, usually with illustrations or graphics that enhance the poem’s purpose.
Broadsides can be a simple hand-written page with an original poem, photographed and posted on social media, or if you are design savvy, can be created through design apps (like Canva, Snappa or other apps on your phone or online, and posted online as well.
Here are samples of both modern poetry broadsides and traditional poetry broadsides, for ideas on how to design your own mini graphic from poems or lines of your poem into a beautiful Instagram ready art piece.