The Arts and Culture Commission launched the Sidewalk Poetry Project in 2011 with support from the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, the Streetscape Task Force and the Northfield City Council. Since 2012, the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council has provided grants for the project thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota. Additional funding has come from the City, The Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, Northfield Shares, local businesses and individual donations.
For more information, see the Sidewalk Poetry page on the City of Northfield website.
Facebook: Northfield Sidewalk Poetry
Poems submitted for the annual sidewalk poetry competition must adhere to strict guidelines for the number and length of lines. Poems may be composed in either a vertical format (up to 11 lines; no line having more than 26 characters including spaces and punctuation), or a horizontal format (up to 8 lines; no line having more than 36 characters including spaces and punctuation). If a title is included it will count as 2 lines (title line plus a line space between the title and the poem). The grid below (one character per box) can be used for composing or checking the length of poems.
Writers Night is an occasional series of juried readings featuring authors from Northfield and the surrounding area. Writers are invited to submit work—up to 3 poems (no more than 3 pages) or up to 750 words of prose—for selection by a blind judging process. Writers whose work is selected are invited to read at the public Writers Night event. Selections from each Writers Night are included in a downloadable (.pdf) journal. From 2004 to 2007, Writers Night and the Writers Night journal were sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild.
The next Writers Night will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 7pm, at the Northfield Public Library. Submissions will be accepted through the month of March 2017. Please send your submission as a single document (.doc or .docx) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writers Night Journals
Poetry Night is held on the first or second Thursday of the month at Content Bookstore in Northfield.
2016-2017 Poetry Nights
Freya Manfred (October 2016). Greg Hewett (November 2016). Ken McCullough (December 2016). Richard Broderick (January 2017). Kathleen Roberts (February 2017). Youth Poetry Night: Anna Kochever, Bella Callery, Alondra Pérez, Hannah Pahs (March 2017). Riki Kölbl Nelson and Karen Herseth Wee (April 13, 2017).
Previous Poetry Nights
Lost Poems of Neruda: a bilingual reading by Cecilia Cornejo and Fritz Bogott (June 2016). Leslie Schultz (May 2016). Kaethe Schwehn (April 2016). Youth Poetry Night: Alondra Pérez, Chris Lazaro, Bella Callery, Anna Kochever (March 2016). Greg Hewett and students (February 2016). Susan Jaret McKinstry (January 2016). D.E. Green (December 2015). Diane LeBlanc (November 2015). Brenda Hellen and Rob Hardy (October 2015).
ArtZany! with Paula Granquist (KYMN): The 2017 Sidewalk Poetry Competition winners and Arts & Culture Commission chair Bonnie Jean Flom (April 21, 2017).
Northfield News: "Northfield students brace themselves for poetry slam" (April 11, 2017)
ArtZany! with Paula Granquist (KYMN): Anna Kochevar, Bella Callery, Scott Grave and Rob Hardy talking about Poetry Out Loud and National Poetry Month (March 31, 2017).
Northfield News: "Arcadia student wins poetry recitation state championship, moves on to nationals" (March 17, 2017)
ArtZany! with Paula Granquist (KYMN): Joy Riggs and Rob Hardy talking about literary events in Northfield at the end of January 2017 (January 20, 2017).
Northfield News: "Northfield Public Library, Arts and Culture Commission name Rob Hardy as first Poet Laureate" (August 18, 2016).
The position of Northfield Poet Laureate was established in 2016 by the Northfield Public Library, in collaboration with the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission. The position is funded through a grant by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). The Poet Laureate organizes, hosts, and provides funding for literary events in Northfield such as Poetry Night at Content Bookstore, Writers Night, and poetry workshops in the Northfield Public Schools. The Poet Laureate also writes and recites original poems for local civic events. The Poet Laureate has worked in collaboration with the Northfield Arts Guild, the Greenvale Park Community School, Content Bookstore, the Latino (and Friends) Play Festival, Northfield High School, Arcadia Charter School, and others.
The first Northfield Poet Laureate is Rob Hardy. Rob is the author of Domestication: Collected Poems, 1996-2016 (Shipwreckt Books 2017) and The Collecting Jar (Grayson Books 2005). Rob's writing (poetry and prose) has appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Rattle, New Letters, North Dakota Quarterly, and other literary and scholarly journals. His adaptation of Aeschylus's Oresteia was staged at Carleton College and by Hero Now Theatre in Minneapolis, which will publish the script in April 2017. Rob is also a member of the Northfield School Board and a Research Associate in Classics at Carleton College.
A grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) has provided funding for this project thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.