Haiku For Syracuse

On Memorial Day, freedom is one of many blessings we celebrate.  As a special day of remembrance, Memorial Day is also a reminder of the costs of freedom–including the costs to those we continue to protect against tyranny.  As they make the oft-times wrenching decision to leave their homeland behind, people from around the globe who flee war, political oppression and poverty, hope that freedom, safety and a better life will one day be theirs.

One of the main themes of this year‘s Syracuse Poster Project Series was that of Syracuse as a City of Welcome–for the hundreds of refugees and immigrants who set sail for the United States, many land here in Central New York!  Two artists, Nicora Gangi and Nada Odeh, were commissioned by the Poster Project to illustrate this theme.  Local poets were given the opportunity to write and submit haiku inspired by the beautiful images displayed in the two posters.  As you can see below, the haiku chosen for these two posters–one by long time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Vinh Dang and the other, by poet, Jean Fahey–were splendid.

At the April unveiling, which happened to fall as it always does during National Poetry Month, artist, Nada Odeh, spoke of what inspired her to create her illustration and why she chose Vinh Dang’s haiku: “…. The boat image in my poster represents the crisis of the refugees seeking hope and a safe place to stay. It portrays a strong visual and overwhelming emotions while questioning how these people had to go through such harsh living conditions in their native countries. They are seeking refuge in another country and hoping to be welcome regardless of their origin or political status. The reason why I chose this haiku is because it speaks for me in a simple way and reminds me of how I feel about living in Syracuse.”  

Poet, Vinh Dang, a quiet spoken gentleman, recalled his own journey from Vietnam to America and the challenges of  building a new home in Syracuse while still keeping memories of his homeland close to his heart.  2018Dang_OdehHis haiku was inspired by these memories, as he stated, “…But what most inspired me was the greyish blue smoke flowing out of each family’s thatched roof, where mothers and wives were cooking the evening meal, promising a sweet reunion of the whole family under an oil lamp.”

 

White clouds drifting where? Over ocean or dark wood. Homeland hearth–blue smoke

 

Artist, Nicora Gangi, was unable to attend the event’s festivities, but she writes about her work, “…. I envisioned a round table positioned at the center to illustrate symbolically a place where a culture meal is shared, one’s national stories can be told, and events past, present or future can be discussed. A variety of written languages decorated the borders of the image to refer to the nations. There is a Syracuse city skyline in the background to convey that the city is here to welcome all nations from around the globe.”  

Ms. Gangi’s illustration spoke to Jean Fahey’s pride in Syracuse as a Sanctuary City.  She writes, “…We are their beacon of hope, the promise for a better tomorrow. 2018Fahey_GangiOur city was named for a beautiful city in Sicily by people who fled there to start a new life; for freedom and a chance to be anything they want to become. Since then, other people from different countries have fled here for different reasons but seeking the same dream. We are their light in the darkness. We are their new home.”

 

A beacon of hope, city of welcoming arms–a place to call home

 

You can find photos from the April unveiling event, here.  Please be sure to check out the other beautiful and inspired posters from the 2018 Series, here, or in designated kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse.  And, don’t forget, if you love these posters, you can always purchase them at our online shop, here!

So, if you are new to these pages or to our fair city of Syracuse…Welcome!

This is your home,                                                                                                                                          you whisper in my ear.  Here is                                                                                                                      where your roots will grow.                                                                                                                                                              By Karen Krull Robart

Advertisements

A Haiku for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. Bouquets of flowers and blue, Forget-Me-Nots.  They seem synonymous, don’t they?

To celebrate this very special day, we searched our archive of haiku posters and found the wonderful gem below from our 2004 Series!  

Written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Marilyn Shelton, the colorful poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Aja Gibson.

Corner vendor shouts / Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! Makes / City women smile

2004Shelton_Gibson

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Our Annual April Event!

2002Stebbins & Theiller
Suddenly flowered
dresses everywhere. Hurray!
The snow has melted!

⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔⇔

On Thursday, April 19, please join us in celebrating the unveiling of our 2018 Syracuse Poster Project Series!  Beginning at at 6 p.m., you’ll find us in our usual spot in the City Hall Commons Atrium, located at 201 E. Washington St., Syracuse. Wondering how to find City Hall Commons? Here’s the map.

The 2018 Series includes 14 posters created the traditional way–poster illustrations created by Syracuse University students and inspired by haiku written by Central New York poets.  This year, students had 483 haiku to choose from: we had submissions from 81 returning participants and 56 new participants. With each participant submitting up to three haiku, we received a total of 251 new haiku. We then added haiku still active in our archives for a total of 1,101 active haiku, and then selected one haiku from each poet to pass along to the student artists.  Many of the haiku selected by students for the 2018 Series were written by new participants!

In addition, we commissioned two specially themed posters this year, and invited poets to write haiku to complement the theme: Syracuse as a place of welcome to all people and cultures.  We received 64 haiku submissions in response to the beautiful poster created by Nicora Gangi and chose a haiku by Jean Fahey to complement it.  For the other poster, beautifully illustrated by Nada Odeh, a haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Vinh Dang, was selected by the artist.

On Thursday evening, along with congratulating our 16 poets and artists, Darren Chavis, of Creole Soul Cafe, will be serving up some vegetarian jambalaya, blackened sausage, and creole chicken to munch on. We’ll also have tasty contributions from The Sweet Praxis and Wegman’s.  Adding to the overall vibe of our festivities will be D.J. Bella, also known as Jasmine Coan, a LeMoyne College graduate who earned her D.J. credentials at Scratch Academy.

So, please do join us on Thursday evening, in Congratulating the 2018 Poet – Artist Pairs:


Omanii Abdullah (Syracuse) and Claudia Lewis
Travis Bartlett (Brewerton) and Alena Sceusa
James Bush (Skaneateles) and Ariel Dinero
Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius) and Mya Parker
Sean Conrey (Syracuse) and Jake Penman
Vinh Dang (Syracuse) and Nada Odeh
Jack Davis (North Syracuse) and Eduardo Figueroa
Terry Eckert (Syracuse) and Kim Truong
Jean Fahey (Syracuse) and Nicora Gangi
Laura Feldman (Jamesville) and Anna Schwartz
Mary Huling (Baldwinsville) and Elise Beauchamp
Dennis Kinsey (Syracuse) and Jake Navarro
Mary Ann Laidlaw (Syracuse) and Zoe Karikas
Sara Marsh (Syracuse) and Victoria Thomas
Devon Moore (Syracuse) and Shawna Stevenson
Lorraine Piazza (Syracuse) and Bernardo Rodriguez

The evening promises to be a great opportunity to see all the new posters in one spot, meet the poets and artists, and mingle with friends of poetry and public art.  So, dress up, come out, and party with the rest of our poster peeps!

See you there!

The Syracuse Poster Project

Our featured poster above is from our 2002 Series with a cheerfully Spring illustration and haiku by Jennifer Theiller and Mary Taitt, respectively!

 

 

Haiku For St. Patrick’s Day

🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

Green attire swishes
Fast feet, giddy crowds sip ale
Leprechauns walk by

By Pearl Popiak (Syracuse 2011)

Parades, Irish music, food and drink, are all hallmarks of how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

a green line runs through
downtown streets–St Patrick’s Day
paraders walk it

By Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2013)

It’s a day to revel in the sounds of bagpipes, bodhrans, Irish flutes and fiddles! And, it’s a great day for Irish dancing and singing of Danny Boy!

Dancers jig and clap
Bagpipes blast a cheering tune
Leprechauns skip by

By Gabrielle Gardner (Camillus 2013)

It’s a day that would be incomplete without corned beef and cabbage or a frothy Guinness Stout at your favorite Irish pub! Best of all, St Patrick’s Day is a sweet prelude to warmer weather!

on St. Patrick’s Day
the city dances with green,
welcoming Spring

By Heidi Stephens (North Syracuse 2008)

Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with haiku, of course, and we’re offering a specially themed poster from our 2014 Series at a 10% discount from our online shop here. The well-crafted haiku was written by self-published poet, Seneca Wilson, and colorfully illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Erick Friely, now a professional Illustrator and Visual Development Artist based out of Oakland, CA. Learn more about Erick’s work here.  We’ve even made a video of this fine poster for your viewing pleasure! Click here to view!

Luck of the Irish / Green beer, white snow, orange pride / Reversed traffic light

2014Wilson_Friely

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

Haiku for Winter Storms

Remember that old saying, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb”? Well, let’s hope it holds true this year! Since March 1, Winter storms have wreaked havoc up and down the East Coast, dropping snow, rain and sleet from Hilton Head to Connecticut to London to the French Alps; they’ve caused power failures across New York State; and broken tree limbs are strewn about everywhere one looks!  Quite a lion of a start if there ever was one!

As Michelle Miles (currently, in sunny and warm Amman, Jordan) wrote this week:

A haiku would say
that springtime is on its way–
but first, a detour!

Meanwhile, the not so melodious sounds of snow blowers, snow shovels and loud, rumbling snow plows, continue to break the sometimes eerie silence of softly falling snow! A search of our archives reveals many haiku contributed by Central New Yorkers who’ve contemplated our fierce Winter snow storms alongside the sound–and the glory–of these useful snow storm tools! Here are a few to consider as you look out your window at the falling March snow!

From Thomas Michael Duncan (East Syracuse 2011), you know it’s going to be a long day for the city’s snow plow driver:

Accumulations.
The monstrous yellow machines
remove snow–spread salt.

A beautiful image from Laura Ferrel (Skaneateles 2013):

Pre-dawn whirs and scrapes–
a community chorus
born of snowy nights

A familiar scene, aptly described by Chen Chen (Syracuse 2014) — read more about this talented A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize winning author here:

Just the front scraped clean–
our car after blizzard wears
a mullet of snow

Our featured poster is a fine tribute to Winter snow storms! It’s from our 2011 Series with the clever haiku by Jim Kenty (Syracuse 2008) and the colorful illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Maura McGonagle.

Syracuse snowflakes / meet their fate on the blade of / my shovel of doom

2011_Kenty_McGonagle

Aside from waiting for Spring to arrive by mid-March, if we learn anything from late Winter snow storms, it’s learning to have patience. However, if your street doesn’t get plowed for hours, you may feel like Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge 2008), in her vivid haiku:

Armies of snowplows
Invade snowbound neighborhoods
Winter prison break

Or, rather than impatience, you may feel like Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

as snow plows lumber
through the blizzard leftovers
grateful cars make room

Here’s hoping March goes out like a lamb!

Haiku for St. Valentine’s Day

If you follow us on FaceBook and Twitter, or if you receive our newsletter, you know that St. Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite occasions!  Over the last couple of years, besides highlighting love-themed haiku from our archives on this Blog, we have offered St. Valentine’s Day cards to download–free of charge–from our Website.  With some, by adding your own words of love with a specially commissioned drawing, you have the perfect card for your special Valentine!

For this year’s card, we turned to long-time friend of the Syracuse Poster Project, William Padgett, for both his design skills and for his aesthetic and poetic sensibility.  To view and download this latest addition to our special collection of St. Valentine’s Day cards, check out the “Free Stuff” section of our Website.  Pictured below, this year’s card celebrates both St. Valentine’s Day and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Cold Ice, Warm Heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!

2padgett

And….speaking of the many ways we express love, please enjoy our featured haiku Poster below from our 2013 Series. The poster’s warm haiku was written by Tom Rhoads, who comments, “This particular haiku is really just about the love and loyalty of an old friend and how that love and loyalty is a special joy.”  The poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Katie Hampton, now a Massachusetts-based artist/designer currently working as a Digital Production Design Specialist at Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA.  Check out her collection of wonderful work here.  

Old and loyal friend, waking to find pure fresh snow, leaps like a puppy.
2013Rhoads_Hampton

If you like this poster, you can find it for sale in our Shop section of our Website here.

This February, have a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the Winter Olympics! And, stay warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for The Syracuse Poster Project

Warm Weather on Your Mind?

If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that we frequently highlight our activities and events with a short newsletter-style email blast. This short bulletin also features a poster from our archives that best matches our latest news–and, it’s usually offered at a special discount! (**See how you can get on our mailing list below!)

Our latest newsletter teases us out of our Winter doldrums with a wonderful haiku poster from our 2013 Series showcasing Columbus Circle on a bright Summer’s day. Written by Ricky Maeweather and illustrated by Walter Kampf-Lassin, this wonderful scene certainly allows us to forget–even for a moment–the cold, dreary weather we’ve been having this January!

large buildings stand tall / the center always crowded / square blocks building lofts

298_07_Maeweather_Kampf-Lassin

It will be a few months yet until the sun warms us up as it does in this bright haiku poster, but we are always warmed by the responses we receive from our followers to things we’ve written about in our newsletter–and, our blog!

In fact, we’d like to say ‘thanks’ to our long-time–and now, long-distance–friend of the Syracuse Poster Project, Patricia Rickard, for her comment to our Columbus Circle dispatch.  From sunny Florida, where she is researching publishers for her book, ‘The Complete Guide to Child-Centered Musical Theater’, Patricia writes, “I hear from family and friends back in Syracuse and the North Country that Winter is already old and cold, and it’s only January.  Spring will eventually come to Syracuse in two more months!! So, close your eyes and be transported with this Haiku!”

Sun, Sea, Sand, Blue Skies;
Palm Trees Sway, Seagulls Swooping;
Red Hibiscus Bloom!

How simply marvelous…can you feel the warmth, now, of a soft, sunny blue day in January? Thank you, Patricia!

So, hang in there all you Central New Yorkers…it’s almost February!!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project


**If you’d like to join our mailing list to receive news about our activities, invitations to submit poetry and notices of shopping deals, please contact us here. We’ll keep you informed by email and occasionally by direct postal mail. Rest assured, we do not share contact information or email addresses.

Haiku to Warm Up January

Snow and slush and sleet
and rain and hail–and sun!–and
clouds and ice and salt.

Typical of January, it’s been cold and snowy–and everything else inbetween–as mischievously described in Matt Tompkins’ (Owego 2013) haiku above. Dark frigid nights seem to last forever this time of year, too, though daylight is (thankfully) lasting longer. Haiku has the perfect ability to express these Winter days in such a way that you can nearly forget it’s January…well, almost! Try warming up with these few other haiku found in our archives and written by our wonderful contributors.

When it’s not too cold or blustery, January offers a great time to be outdoors. In this colorful haiku, poet Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2013) sets a sensory mood for a day skiing. Can you feel the anticipation?…the thrill of a good day on the slopes?…not noticing the cold on your face?

Perfect packed powder,
exhilarating ski trails–
lean forward and smile!

In just a few words, Kate Stewart’s (Cazenovia 2012) haiku beautifully describes a different kind of sensory experience only known during the long Winter months:

Snow diamonds twinkle.
Crisp night air, I hear only
Softly, gliding skis.

Like skiing, if you have ever snowshoed, you know you’ve left an indelible path on your journey. If it should snow overnight, you might have trouble finding that path again in the morning. But on a clear, moonlit night, you might not have any problem at all–as cleverly described in Joan Cofrancesco’s haiku (Camillus 2001):

moon looms over pines
along the Beaver Lake trail
snowshoes left behind

Reminiscent of the first ‘no school day’ of January, our featured haiku poster is from our 2014 Series. The haiku, with the wonderful play on words, was written by Dianne Emmick and richly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Ash Merkel, now a working artist whose fine illustrations, sketches and ceramic work can be found here.

Cars trapped in driveways. / Skiers glide softly mid—street / Making morning tracks.

2014Emmick_Merkel

Speaking of ‘snow days’ have you noticed the neighborhood kids with their sleds? Do you remember, as a kid yourself, climbing that big hill in your own backyard, dragging up your new red Flying Saucer, holding on tight and getting that head-start of a push from behind? If you do, you’ll enjoy this haiku by Elisabeth Anderson, (Lafayette 2001):

We haul our sleds up,
and push off.  Trees blur, snow leaps
aside. We can fly!

All in all, when you have a haiku warming your insides, January isn’t too bad! Do you have a Winter haiku to share? Send it in the comments below and we will post it in our next Blog!  As Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2014) cheerily writes, Winter can be a sensory feast:

I am your haiku
in red ski vest gliding through
your white city park

Stay Warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

A Few Highlights From 2017

Remember back when it was December 31, 2016?  When January 1, 2017 was just the beginning of another new year?  You may ask, where’d the time go?  Or, perhaps you reminisced about all the ups and downs of 2016.  But, here we are, the first week of another new year already behind us!  The Holidays are officially over and Winter is here with a frightful blast of cold and grey!  What better time than to sit and reflect on all the things that kept us warm and busy during 2017!

For the Syracuse Poster Project, 2017 was a particularly good year.  We saw several fruitful collaborations established, many ideas realized, and met some new friends along the way.

Fruitful Collaborations!  Coinciding with the Erie Canal Bicentennial, we joined statewide festivities by issuing a special Erie Canal themed poster for our 2017 Poster Series.  We commissioned Tong “Amy” Su, a graduate student in the Syracuse University Illustration Program, to illustrate a scene for our poets to respond to.  Su created a lively bird’s-eye view of canal commerce with the winning haiku coming from Ross Getman.

canal side commerce / briefcase, balloon, umbrella / echoes of past steps

2017Getman_Su

We then teamed up with the Erie Canal Museum to win a grant from Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today for an installation of our Erie Canal Poster at the Museum.  WSyracuse_Public_Art poster panel installation at Erie Canal Museum1.jpge reproduced Su’s historic Canal poster in triplicate—the original poster flanked by two enlargements—and installed these three panels on the exterior of the Museum’s storage building.  Syracuse_Public_Art_poster panel installation at Erie Canal Museum2

 

 

 

From former windows on the second story, the Canal posters overlook Erie Boulevard.

walls of erie museum
Erie Canal Museum

On the heels of this successful rendering, we found ourselves collaborating with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, host of the World Canals Conference, to produce a commemorative poster for the Conference which took place in Syracuse this past September.  Tong “Amy” Su’s work for the Poster Series was so appealing, we asked her to develop another poster to promote the Conference.  The stunning result prompted the organizers to purchase 50 of her beautiful posters as gifts for their speakers at the Conference!

487_Erie_Canal_Poster_2
World Canals Conference Poster

 

 

 

Something New!  Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, we’ve become a video nation.  The Poster Project joined the flow this year with a series of splashy videos produced largely by enthusiastic volunteers and, in one instance, by professional videographers.

First up was our “Public Dollars for Public Art” video where we advocated the value of public art by making a whimsical case for allocating parking meter revenues to public art in Syracuse.  The piece has yet to shift any resources in that direction, but it did win us a $500 award in the Central New York Community Foundation’s “What Matters to Me” contest.  

Emmons_Jim_3_resize
Jim Emmons

We proudly passed these monies to the charity of our choice—CNY Arts—for its good work advancing arts and culture in Central New York.  Click here to read about Jim Emmons’ winning entry and video and click here to read about the other winners of the Foundation’s 2017 contest.

Our next series of video productions took flight thanks to a volunteer, Priya Narayanan, who briefly graced us with her filmmaking skills.  Priya studied information technology and taught herself filmmaking on the side.  She joined us just before the opening celebration for the 2017 Poster Series.  She dashed off a series of video portraits from the event, produced a video on our travelling exhibit at the Upstate Cancer Center, and, for her last work, whipped together a piece on Art on the Porches—click here to view her work at this annual event and here for videos from the 2017 Poster Event.  Over the summer, we had to say goodbye to Priya as she and her husband moved to Delaware.  We’ll miss working with her!

We’re tempted to call 2017 the year of Splash Poetry!  Our story is often one of circling back: we get excited about an idea, but can’t find the time or resources to pull it off.  It simmers on a back burner for a year or more, until finally we stir it again, add the right ingredients, and serve it up.  That’s how it was with our Splash Poetry Project.

Joe Murphy

Board member, Joe Murphy, was exploring civic poetry groups in other parts of the country when he discovered Mass Poetry doing something fun: stenciling poetry on sidewalks with special spray paint that only shows up when rained upon or splashed with water! This seemed tailor made for our haiku—and for rainy Syracuse Summers!  But, the idea had to mature for a year or so until the time was right to bring it to term.

Finally last Spring, along with an uplifting, out-of-the blue, contribution from the Central New York Community Foundation, Joe and fellow board member, Jason Evans, kick-started the conception and our Splash Poetry Project was born!  Together, they designed stencils, had them laser cut, and then stenciled site-specific haiku at 10 downtown locations.  (Click here to see where the splash haiku were initially placed.)

Rain_Poetry Joe Murphy and Jason Evans
Joe Murphy and Jason Evan

 

When the original poems washed away, we stenciled them again.  But, this time, we hired a pair of professional videographers, Michael Barletta and Courtney Rile, of Daylight Blue Media, to document our appropriately named, Splash Poetry Project.  They did an excellent job, both of filming as Joe and Jason stenciled poems on downtown sidewalks, and of editing the footage into a vivid portrait of civic art in action!   This was our first experience with the power of professional filmmaking, and we’re delighted to have joined forces with Mike and Courtney.  Click here to view this wonderful video!  Keep an eye out for more Splash Poetry in the warmer months of 2018.

New Friends!  We were selected by the Downtown Committee of Syracuse to participate in the first installment of its Art in the Windows Project.  Funded by the Central New Community Foundation, the project has brightened a dozen downtown shopfronts and windows with art installations.  We installed 10 posters from our archives in the poster boxes outside the Post Office on Salina Street.

Over the summer, we worked with executive director of CNY Jazz, Larry Luttinger, to install large-format jazz-themed posters in the newly renovated lobby of Jazz Central The display consists of two posters on panels, with a third panel in storage for periodic change outs.  The Poster featured here is from our 2010 Series.  The Jazz-themed haiku was written by Elisabeth Anderson and the poster illustrated by Eric Johanni an adjunct faculty member of the Art Department at Phoenix College2010Anderson_Johanni

Carbonated jazz,
sloe gin soul with open mic,
two drink minimum.

Lastly, we joined Friends of Onondaga Central Library to sell framed posters from the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series through our online store.  The posters depict, and are autographed by, featured writers from this prodigious series. 

488_Sedaris-David
David Sedaris Poster

Sales benefit both the Onondaga County Library System and Syracuse Poster Project.  As we diversify our engagement with civic art, we view these literary posters as belonging to that realm. You’ll also see that we worked with the Central Library to install a library-themed poster, like the one below, next to the third floor elevator.  The Poster featured here is from our 2003 Series and was written by Janine DeBaise and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Christopher Savido, whose portrait of former President George Bush created quite a stir in 2004.  2003DeBaise_Savido

 

 

 

Rows and rows of books
Lure me into their pages
I leave with arms full

New Board Members, Volunteers and Interns!  After a period of attrition—veteran board members retiring from the board—2017 was a year for board growth.  We’re now enjoying the energy and skills of several newcomers, including: Anna Putintseva, a lawyer with Bousquet Holstein; Lindsay Speicher, a community liaison at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield; Adam Rozum, an independent designer and owner of Polonaise European Market; Jason Evans, an architect at Ashley McGraw; Gwen Morgan, a media specialist at LeMoyne College; and Chris Montgomery, a jobs specialist at SUNY Educational Opportunity Center.

We were also fortunate to have several new volunteers join us, including: Naomi Coufal, John Kulak and Brittney Cason.  And, of course, we’d be lost without our long-standing volunteers, sponsors and partners as well as our Interns who work with us for a short period of time, but produce phenomenal work.  (Click here to see a list of our interns from over the past few years.)

For example, before we said our goodbyes to our hard-working Spring semester intern, Naomi Masingale, she was the subject of a photo documentary by photographer, Nancy Kasberg, who came to us from the Military Journalism Program at SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communication

Masingale_Naomi_10
Naomi Masingale

This wonderful narrative slideshow, complete with Naomi’s voice over, walks you through her internship experience with us.  (Click here to view this video!)  Congratulations to Naomi who graduated this past year with a Masters in Arts Administration from LeMoyne College!                                                                                                                   

In addition, our student interns were paramount to tweaking our website this year!  For a small organization, we have a robust website.  With help from web development interns, we added significant features to our growing presence on the web. Most notably, we re-established an interactive map that shows all locations that have given rise to posters over the years, with links to corresponding posters, artists, and poets–since our founding in 2001, more than 500 poets have submitted haiku!  The map first existed on a Google platform, until Google discontinued the service.  It was then in hiatus for a couple of years until we took on an intern, Xi Chen, capable of investigating a new platform. Thanks to Xi and her successor, Yunhui Zhu, we now share our interactive map via Mapbox.  You can explore a map that shows where poets come from, which municipalities or neighborhoods are most poetic, and where the hotspots of poetic energy come from!  To see the map, visit our Participate page and scroll down.  Find your haiku poster here!

The website now has an improved Photo Gallery Section where visitors can quickly peruse both the Poster Series archived by year (click here to view) and/or photos from the annual unveiling events (click here to see these).   And, the Shop section of our website took on two new categories: one for literary posters promoting the Rosamond-Gifford Lecture Series as mentioned above; another for graphic work by Syracuse artists working in veins similar to ours.  

jason evans
Jason Evans

Thus you’ll find work by local designers Tommy Lincoln, Jason Evans and Cayetano Valenzuela, with more to come in 2018.  Click here to shop for your favorite posters!

More on Information Technology!  What end-of-year summary would be complete without a report from the IT Department?  Frankly, we wish we had an IT department!  It would be incredibly helpful.  Nevertheless, in our measured way, we made IT strides in 2017.  With a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation, we bought three high-performance laptops, installed new accounting and graphics software, and subscribed to the cloud computing services of Office 365.  All of which enables us to take on more interns and volunteers, and to work with them efficiently.

Funding!  We remain a small nonprofit organization supported by product sales, corporate sponsorship, and charitable grants—no dedicated year-to-year funding.  As challenging as it is to raise funds, we experienced bright spots in 2017.  We brought on three new corporate sponsors–TCGPlayer, Bousquet Holstein and Drive Research— and saw a longstanding sponsor, Byrne Dairy, significantly boost its sponsorship.

In the New Year!  With our new computer resources, we’re well positioned to begin work with a growing roster of interns and volunteers.  These new hands should help us produce the 2018 Poster Series and move on to tasks that sometimes exceed our resources: applying for grants, refining our website, developing new products and projects.

In fact, we’re already underway with a specially commissioned poster from Nicora Gangi for our 2018 series on the theme of Syracuse as a place of welcome for all people and cultures.  Jean Fahey’s fine haiku was selected to match this poster which will be unveiled in April.

A beacon of hope2018 gangi
City of welcoming arms
A place to call home

We will further this theme by reviving our Cards for New Americans Project. We initiated the cards project several years ago with partial funding.  The idea is to issue packs of notecards as welcome gifts for new Americans at their naturalization ceremonies.  In 2018, we’ll resume fundraising and see the project to completion.

Incidentally, our featured Poster is from the 2010 Series; the haiku written by Wendy Moleski and poster illustrated by Gina Kim:

2010_Moleski_Kim

 

The last dish is fired
Kiln’s cooled, now the auction starts
Good—bye my old friend

 

 

 

Thank You!  As you see by these few highlights,  2017 was a very productive year for us.  We could not have done this without the loyal support of our friends, board members, volunteers, interns and our families.  Thank you for your continued support of the Syracuse Poster Project!  

Happy New Year to you!

Jim Emmons with Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

 

Haiku for the Holiday Season!

The Holidays! Oh, the excited anticipation of them all! The planning and the decorating; the ever-changing shopping lists–two miles long; the food and the get-togethers with all that wine! And, then there’s the writing out of Christmas cards and the wrapping of presents; the lighting of candles and the Yuletide tree; the sounds of music in the air, at the school concert and in stained-glassed churches everywhere!

Phew! So, between the stress and the laughter, we’d like to offer you these few haiku from our archives to brighten your celebration of this season of light and love, hope and peace!

The holidays are Cookie Exchanges and building Gingerbread Houses with the kids:

Gingerbread delights
The Erie Canal is trimmed
With giggles and smiles!

Jane Verostek (Syracuse 2012)

It’s the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree:

Horse-drawn sleigh ride to
Cut a Christmas tree just right–
We build traditions!

Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2006)

Or, for the perfect gift:

Mom clutches my hand
We rush through winding traffic
Holiday shopping

Mary Demetrick (East Syracuse 2004)

The holidays are Mistletoe and Holly and beautiful Poinsettias:

Crimson-tipped arrows
Pointing North, East, South and West
Christmas arsenal

Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016)

Or, they’re a night time drive through darkened snowy streets for a visual treat; where Christmas and candle lights brighten neighborhood windows and lampposts, doorways and rooftops:

Levitating lights
Vivid vista sparkling home
Where the heart is full

Ronnie Bell (Syracuse 2010)

And, for many, the holidays are not complete without going downtown for the ceremonious “lighting of the tree”:

Huge pine in the Square
Anticipates the signal,
Then lights up Winter

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2008)

Our featured Poster Illustrates just such a scene. The haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Nancy Liccione (Clay 2003) and brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Yealim Kong, now a Home Textile & Graphic Designer based in New York City.

Nighttime in the Square / Tree lighting and carols sung / Skaters mingle there

2009 Liccione_Kong

However you spend these last few days of 2017, we wish you a warm and merry Holiday Season!

Ripped fingertip gloves
Cold keys and warm melodies
Fill dark streets with light

 Elizabeth Westfall (North Syracuse 2014)

Haiku For a Thanksgiving Holiday

It’s Thanksgiving! An American celebration of thanks steeped in history and tradition.

Stone canoe floating
Onondaga Lake gives thanks
Peacemaker returns

Tom Huff (Nedrow 2006)

It’s “Over the river and through the woods” time! While some families are packing up the car to travel far and wide for the long weekend, others are preparing for the long-awaited arrival of loved ones. From our 2003 Series, this featured haiku poster nicely captures the spirit of arriving home with the hubbub of holiday activity downtown. The haiku was written by long-time contributor, Claire Bobrycki, and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Mellgren.

Long drive, weary eyes— / Cityscape lights the night sky / Syracuse, I’m home!

2003Bobrycki_Mellgren

It’s Turkey stuffing days! While plump turkeys are roasting and all manner of pies baking, there are those tracking tackles and downs, too.

Spiral in the air
Raucous cheering of the crowd
Pigskin in the zone

Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)

It’s still Autumn! Leaves have fallen, leaving trees mostly dark and bare.

Fading sun spot lights
Roosting crows in bare fall trees,
Night black fruit to pick.

Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

It’s late November! The weather is crisp and getting colder, while windy days are growing shorter and starry nights, longer.

Slanting golden sun
A red leaf drifts to the ground
Seasons change like moons

Patsy Scala (New Woodstock 2010)

It’s the “Holidaze” season! Grocery stores are stuffed with shoppers while traffic delays are just beginning as Christmas Holiday sales lure folks to the mall.

Produce from the earth
In crowded marketplaces
Displayed with purpose

Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)

It’s time to sit in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace! From our 2014 Series, this featured haiku poster was beautifully created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Andrew Casadonte, (now a storyboard artist at DreamWorks TV Animation), using the fine phrasing of another of our long-time contributors, Paul Goat Allen.

Winter is coming / wool socks and long underwear / the long sleep is near

2014 Allen_Casadonte

We hope we’ve made your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit richer with these wonderful poems gathered from our archives of contributed haiku!  And, if you’re looking for a special Christmas gift for the poet or artist in your family, be sure to check out our Shop Page for some great ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

Halloween Inspired Haiku

It’s Halloween! Pumpkins are carved, costumes are at the ready, stuffed candy bowls wait patiently for trick-or-treaters.

On cold, dark porch steps,
Jack O’Lanterns grin and wait.
Beware, you tricksters!
Rosalyn M. Carroll, (Manlius 2015)

With a harvest moon drifting lazily overhead, stormy skies and thick fog are the perfect backdrop for ghoulish sights on Halloween night.

October moon hangs
spectral light and shadows fall
luminous clouds fly
Karl Krohl, (Syracuse 2015)

Dry leaves rustle in the wind, owls who-hoot at midnight and ghosts roam the shadows of Syracuse.  Oh my!

On the old canal,
a ghost barge drifts soundlessly
a fallen leaf rides.
Michael Sickler, (Minoa 2012)

Lilac vapor trail
Landmark Theater ghost performs
one more curtain call
Sheila Forsyth, (Fayetteville 2011)

The ghosts of yester
sequestered in their oak grove
welcome each new dawn
Garrett Heater, (Syracuse 2015)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2013 Series.  Poet, Robin Gross, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Dylan Allen, whose work was recently exhibited at Apostrophe’s Art Gallery in Syracuse, have created a hauntingly beautiful recipe for a spooky Halloween night!

Under Harvest Moon / Landmark Theatre Ghost Shrieks / Boo! Trick Or Treat Me
2013Gross_Allen
As you can see, Halloween conjures up a cauldron-full of images, feelings and memories, too.  We hope you have enjoyed these Halloween-inspired haiku from our archives!

Ghosts of trains, whispers
of smoke, standing at the old
station, long ago
Catherine Foster, (Soddy Daisy, TN 2013)

Grand Ballroom twilight
costumed masqueraders grin
tricks and treats within
Abigail Lent, (Baldwinsville 2017)

Happy Haunting!

A Haiku Nod to Sunflowers

As the end of Summer draws near, sturdy Sunflowers still stand shoulder high.  While their full-seeded heads seem to be nodding, Farewell, their brilliant shades of yellow add a unique dimension to the colorful arrival of Autumn.  

From our archives, we found some Sunflower-themed haiku to share with you–what better way to show our appreciation for this beautiful flower that bridges Summer into Autumn!

Brilliant sunflowers                                                                                                                                       cast against slate sky, red birds                                                                                                                       fly in for dinner                                                                                                                                                                          by Sheila Forsyth (Fayetteville 2008)

 Lofty sunflowers                                                                                                                                             arrayed in golden splendor                                                                                                                           heads above the rest                                                                                                                                                            by Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007)

Van Gogh Sunflowers                                                                                                                                      paint themselves across the fields                                                                                                                  Camillus, New York                                                                                                                                                           by Joan Cofrancesco (Camillus 2009)

From our 2010 Syracuse Poster Project Series, our featured haiku poster was written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Catherine LaPointe, now a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer–see more of her wonderful work here.

Blue Moon, Big Dipper / Sunflowers under porch lights / Peace on the South Side

2010Bobrycki_LaPointe

We conclude with three more gems:

Sunflowers drooping                                                                                                                                      looking for a warm embrace                                                                                                                        oh, where is the sun?                                                                                                                                                                   by Kelly Bargabos (Syracuse 2010)

Sunflower faces                                                                                                                                               a swoosh of yellow and black:                                                                                                                        goldfinch dinnertime                                                                                                                                                               by Ellen Barnes (Syracuse 2014)

A smile on your face                                                                                                                                         is brighter than sunflowers                                                                                                                         at the farmer’s stand                                                                                                                                                                  by Jungtae Lee (Syracuse 2006)

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tribute to the Sunflower! What do you see when you gaze upon a Sunflower?  

Inspired Haiku

We recently announced our call for haiku for the 2018 Syracuse Poster Project Series. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 8! 

Stuck for an idea? Why not visit the newly redeveloped Morningside Cultural Trail?  In fact,  its official Grand Opening Event is Wednesday, September 6 at the Barry Park Field House.  Festivities begin at 5:30 pm.  Learn more about the opening event here and a brief history of the project here.  Celebrating Syracuse’s Eastside, with its 7-mile walking path, the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through three notable neighborhoods (Map) and includes a Public Arts Pathway (Map).  For photos of the Trail, check out their Facebook page here.  With trails meandering through Oakwood Cemetery (Map), the Morningside Cultural Trail offers interesting reflections–just the kind you might need to write some haiku!  

There is much to learn about Oakwood Cemetery.  Its assortment of mausoleums and monuments have inspired several haiku from our haiku contributors.  From Peggy Liuzzi (Syracuse 2014) a fine sensory approach to haiku:

With each step, dry leaves / speak of memories.  Oakwood / whispers Autumn’s song

And, from Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007), a warm reflection inspired by a walk through Oakwood’s hallowed grounds:

And there they all sleep / Beneath the earth and granite / Oakwood their fine bed

Visitors to Barry Park may find a tennis game going on or kids playing soccer–just like Meganne Oakleaf (Fayetteville 2010) did in her cheerful haiku:

Fall sees Barry Park / ablaze with colorful leaves; / soccer jerseys, too.

The Barry Park Pond may offer you some inspiration, too, as it did for Jessica Cuello (Syracuse, 2010):

At Barry Park Pond / black-webbed geese crowd two children. / Small hands tear soft bread.

Meadowbrook and Westcott, two of the neighborhoods the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through, has inspired several haiku from our contributors–including this one from Jane Cassidy which, in turn, inspired this beautiful poster from our 2006 Series by former Syracuse University illustration student, Natalie Zuk :

Unexpectedly / a stone staircase in the woods— / very Narnian

2006 Cassady_Zuk

Walk the Morningside Cultural Trail and Get Inspired!

 

Got Haiku?

A call for haiku is now underway for the Syracuse Poster Project’s 17th annual series of haiku posters! In fact, you’re invited! Please consider participating in this community-wide event by submitting up to three (3) of your best haiku which reflect our fair city’s multi-cultural heart, the Central New York countryside or Syracuse at large!  

Nicora_Gangi_Poster 2018

In addition, we have commissioned Syracuse artist, Nicora Gangi, to create a poster giving you the unique opportunity–in essence, an Ekphrastic challenge–to write at least one (1) haiku inspired by her wonderful image!  That image being, fittingly enough, of our city as a place of welcome to all people and cultures.  Ms. Gangi will select the winning haiku.  To read a review of her superb work, click here.

Each haiku you submit before Friday, September 8 will be presented to a senior class of Syracuse University illustration students.  Ultimately, your haiku may be chosen to be illustrated by one of these students!  Of all the posters created, 15 of the best haiku posters will be selected for display in downtown Syracuse kiosks next April, 2018.

Need inspiration?  Not sure how to capture a moment?  Consider how these frequent contributors approach writing haiku–

Walk…along an Erie Canal pathway, where, as Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius 2007), writes:

Wildflowers sway bright / Dragonflies buzz and fish bite / Erie traffic hums

Watch…as Debra Alexis (Jamesville 2016) does:

Moonbeams hitch a ride / onto lazy waves, while the / leaves flutter and fall

Look…as Anton Ninno (Syracuse 2014) does:

Pond at Barry Park / tall reeds in quiet water / heron strikes–and eats!

Listen…as Paul Goat Allen (Camillus 2004) does:

Sidewalks spill laughter / Armory Square fellowship / downtown Summer night

Feel…as Barbara McCleary (Fulton 2009) does:

Walking by the lake / Icy winds that sear my soul. / My cheeks are burning!

Remember, any season, any place, any subject–write about your experiences in a haiku using three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables, and submit your poems by September 8, 2017.  For further details, click here for this year’s brochure.  For additional entry materials, click here.  If you’re new to writing haiku, click here for general guidelines.  Find more good haiku by local poets in this poetry blog.  

Get Writing!

 

Hot Haiku

Summertime, when days are warm and humid…we’ve had a few of them here in Central New York recently.  It’s days like these that make Summer simmer (no pun intended)!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that we often highlight seasonal themes, sometimes focusing on singular characteristics of the season we’re in. Hot, humid and hazy Summer days happen to be the subject of many haiku found in our archives contributed by Central New York poets.  We thought it would be timely to add these to our Blog before Summer ‘daze’ slip away.

There’s a unique sound to warm Summer days. You can practically hear the sultriness in this fine haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

waves of locust songs                                                                                                                                                                          ebb and flow with no excuse                                                                                                                                                       except Summer heat

Along with spindly grasshoppers, the sound of crickets and cicadas are even more noticeable when days are long and warm.  It’s easy to imagine the captivating scene detailed in Anna Pyrohanych’s (Auburn) colorful 2012 haiku:

Sun sets, moon rises–                                                                                                                                                                  Shimmer across still waters…                                                                                                                                                       Summer crickets sing

When there’s a stretch of days in the high 80’s, even the inevitable thunderstorm offers little relief, as perfectly described in Karl Krohl’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku:

Thunderheads tower                                                                                                                                                                           Summer, a breathless haze–still                                                                                                                                                            the cicadas drone

From our 2006 Poster Series, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lauren Katz, beautifully conceived Jane Cassady’s (Philadelphia 2005) fine haiku:

Humid moon rises / over the stopped clock tower / like a real city

89_04_Cassady _Katz

Now that it’s August, you can forget the heat with this delightful haiku by another frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Mary Gardner (Skaneateles 2003):

Heat hung low and haze                                                                                                                                                                    Hinders not these hearts at play–                                                                                                                                                   Music in the square

Speaking of music, don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying the other sounds of Summer as Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku vividly describes:

Sizzling riffs from sax                                                                                                                                                                            “Jazz in the City” heats up                                                                                                                                                                        Cool, full moon evening

Finally, there’s no doubt we’ve all shared Michele Reed’s (Oswego) feelings from time to time as crisply expressed in her 2015 haiku:

sound of cicadas                                                                                                                                                                                       on a sultry Summer’s eve                                                                                                                                                                        and I dream of snow

What do you find distinctive about warm Summer days?  However you spend these remaining hot, hazy ‘daze’, stay cool!

Cloudy Haiku

In just a few syllables, Haiku are a perfect way to capture a scene, a memory, or even a mood.  Regardless the season–or time of day–clouds can do pretty much the same thing. Mountainous thunderstorm clouds can be majestic.  Serene, wispy cirrus clouds can make a sunset heavenly.  In color and shape, or by how quickly they’re moving, clouds will let you know if you need to carry an umbrella or if you’re likely to rev up the snowblower–in which case, if they’re very low and grey, you might consider going back to bed!  But, on a bright Summer’s day, when clouds are drifting lazily, high in the sky, watching these seemingly magical shapeshifters is pure joy.

From our archives of contributed haiku, we’ve selected a cloud-themed few for your Summer reading pleasure.  Can you tell which season the poet is describing?  Have you ever experienced the same feelings as expressed in the haiku?  Do you remember a day the clouds were just like those characterized by the poet?

From Cynthia Perrine (Fabius 2015):

Sun breaks through the clouds / Mist rises from the water / Day begins anew

From Jay Cox (Pompey 2005):

Cumulus clouds float / in a deep-blue sky–downtown / petunias in bloom.

From Pamela Lynch (Oneida 2013):

Fronts collide to paint / phenomenal cloud skyscapes / Swirling overhead

From Michael Brigandi (Syracuse 2014):

Playing in the grass / Childhood days slipping away / Like clouds rolling by

From Nancy Preston (Syracuse 2013):

Clouds heaped like meringue / cumulus jubilation! / Summer sky party

From Maggie James (Syracuse 2010):

One, then two at once! / Colorful balloons drift east / Low clouds they vanish…

From Diane Lansing (Syracuse 2014):

Dragonfly’s kiss makes / once still pond pulsate rings of / fractured clouds and trees.

From our 2004 Syracuse Poster Project Series, a wonderful display of Summer.  The haiku was written by Jennifer Sanford and the poster illustrated by Cally Jones, former Syracuse University Illustration student.

Summer breezes lift / gull and dragon kites across / Onondaga Lake

2004 Sanford_Jones

Wishing you carefree Summer days where, as Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2017) writes:

Daydreaming on a / Cotton candy cloud–oh, the / Places I can see

 

Haiku to Welcome Summer

At long last, it’s coming on Summer!  From our archive of contributed haiku, we’ve found a few to highlight the return of this sunny season.

Spring flowers have faded, making way for bright Summer blooms.  Everything’s comin’ up roses, too, as vividly described by Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu (Syracuse), in her 2011 haiku:

 A burst of petals                                                                                                                                      flame red, melon, pale yellow                                                                                                             Summer rose gardens

After a long Winter and wet Spring, neighbors are slowly emerging from their homes, greeting each other like old friends.  Beth Miller (Auburn) skillfully creates such a scene in her 2015 haiku:

Warm friendly greetings                                                                                                                       Summer on South Geddes Street                                                                                                           Flowers lead to porches

Outdoors, there’s the sound of lawns being mowed and the comforting smell of fresh cut grass.  Green grass and Summer–there is nothing quite like it as Thomas Stock (Ft. Plain 2014) describes in his mirthful haiku:

Cool clover carpet                                                                                                                                   seduce my bare feet with dew                                                                                                               Summer night, you muse!

The arrival of Summer also means weekends are suddenly booked with music festivals, sporting activities, sun gazing and weddings!  Our featured poster from our 2004 Series notes this traditional season for wedding celebrations with a cleverly written haiku by Ralph Long, Jr. and a beautiful illustration by  Elizabeth Couturier, former Syracuse University Illustration student.

In a Rose Garden / at the top of Campus Hill / wedding dresses bloom

2004Long_Couturier

Of course, Summer’s arrival also means construction season is underway everywhere you turn. When artfully expressed in a haiku, such as this one by Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2015), delays don’t seem quite as dreadful:

Summer highway rite                                                                                                                             Orange cones stretched forever                                                                                                                   A sea of detours

How do you welcome Summer?  Write us a haiku in the Comments and we’ll publish it next time on our blog.

Happy Summer!

A Memorial Day Post

                 Run run Jerry run / freedom is at hand oh Lord / helpful hands stretch out                                                                                          by Pat Flowers (Columbus 2006)

Originally referred to in the late 1860’s as Decoration Day–a day of remembrance when mourners could grace the graves of the Civil War’s dead with flowers–Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971.  It remains a day of solemn observance; a day reserved to honor and remember all Americans who have died while serving in our country’s military service.

                    Heroes defended / Liberty and freedom rang / Stars and stripes rippled                                                                                              by Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016)

Memorial Day is also a day to celebrate our freedom, the unique cause that these American servicemen and servicewomen died for.

                   Souls of the soldiers / march and quiet names surround / Freedom’s arena                                                                                         by Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007)

Over the last few decades, Memorial Day has also come to be known as the unofficial start of Summer.  Marked with patriotic parades, major sporting events, family gatherings and barbecues, Memorial Day is still a shared American tradition.

Our featured haiku poster this Memorial Day is from our 2004 Series.  It was written by frequent contributor, Jay Cox and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Steve Kim.  We think you’ll agree, the poster exemplifies the beauty of our monuments to peace, freedom and remembrance.

The blue sky ripples / and clouds stream by in the water / fountain reflections2004Cox_Kim

However you observe this Memorial Day–whether it’s laying a wreath or raising a flag, marching along with a parade or gathering with family, watching a ballgame or enjoying the evening’s fireworks–safe travels!

Birds coax forth the dawn. / She smiles and all turns golden. / Our lake beams its thanks…                                                            by Patricia Ziemba (Syracuse 2010)

 

Introducing Our 2017 Poster Series

We are pleased to report that our 16th Annual unveiling event of the 2017 Syracuse Poster Project Series on April 14 was a great success!  

2017 Wilson-Padgett
Autumn Wilson, artist

 

Along with their families and friends, several of our featured poets, artists and students turned out for this yearly Spring celebration.              

With music by D.J. Bella, Jasmine Coan

2017djbella
D.J. Bella –  Jasmine Coan

and tasty Hors-D’oeuvres by  Creole Soul Cafe, the evening moved smoothly from brief introductions by Jim Emmons (co-founder of the Syracuse Poster Project)  and John Thompson (Illustration Professor at Syracuse University) to the haiku readings and acknowledgements of the night’s Poets and Artists.  

 

2017Jim Emmons and Rosalyn Carroll
Jim Emmons with poet & SPP blogger, Rosalyn Carroll

Of course, the evening would not have been possible without the valued assistance of our enthusiastic interns and volunteers (click here to read more); our committed Board Members (click here to read more), 

2017joemurphyboard of trustee
Joe Murphy, Board Member

or our dedicated Sponsors and Supporters (click here to read more)!  

Special thanks, also, to our evening’s photographers, Mindy Lee Tarry and Herm Card.  

 

Once again, the Atrium, at the City Hall Commons, proved to be the perfect spot to exhibit the kiosk-sized haiku posters.  The excitement upon entering through the Atrium doors was unmistakable!  

2017 unveilingillustration students
Syracuse University Illustration Students

What a thrill to slowly walk down the exhibit hall, watching poets find their poster, listening to artists and poets meeting for the first time, mingling with the crowd and oohing and ahhing at every poster!  

2017 David unveiling
Cannon David, artist

On May 1, the new 2017 Series Posters were mounted in specially designated kiosks throughout the downtown Syracuse area.  

2017 kiosk carroll
2017 Haiku Poster on Display

They are also for sale on our web page.  In fact, check out our online store  here for all our haiku posters, cards, books and other Syracuse Poster Project paraphernalia.  

 

If you missed the fun–or just want to relive it–check out this video featuring our youngest poet, Kiru Morrissettewhose haiku was illustrated by Kelly O’Neill.  

2017kiru
Kiru Morrisette, poet

You will find other short videos of the evening by clicking here!  A very special thank you to our volunteer, Priya Balaji, for catapulting us into new video territory with these wonderful shorts!

 

 

 

2017hirschberg-raymond
Reading Haiku & Talking Art!

 

Go to our Facebook page to see other photos from the evening’s events!

 

2017Muller-Lent
Abigail Lent, poet

 

 

 

 

Our thanks, again, to all who made this a very special evening of community, poetry and art!  

You’re Invited!

You’re invited to the 16th Annual Syracuse Poster Project unveiling event of our 2017 series!  Mark your calendar for Friday evening, April 14 from 6 – 8 p.m.  We’ll be celebrating in the Atrium at City Hall Commons, 201 East Washington Street, Syracuse.   

Atrium 2016 Unveiling

Need a reason to dress up? Come and meet the poets and artists of this year’s poster series! Along with friends, family and other supporters of public art, please enjoy with us a light reception of hors d’oeuvres, drink and music!

To add to the merriment, sit and listen as our featured poster poets read their haiku.  Unveiling, 2016, Tarry (84)

And, of course, our wonderful new posters will be displayed along the glass walls of the Atrium!  

Prints of the new posters, as well as other items from Syracuse Poster Project, will be on sale during the event.  (Click here to view our online Shop.)  Unveiling, 2016, Tarry (33)

Our congratulations again to the 16 poets and Syracuse University Illustration students (respectively) who are featured in our 2017 poster series: Rosalyn Carroll / Bobby Davison; Chen Chen / Carly Wright; Sheila Forsyth / Cannon David; Ross Getman / Tong “Amy” Su; Linda Griggs / Tatiana Diaz; Abigail Lent / Mack Muller; Peggy Liuzzi / Geani Sanabria; Tara Miner / Lara Hirschberg; Kiru Morrissette / Kelly O’Neill; William Padgett / Autumn Wilson; Nicholas Petrone / Marisa Rother; Tanya Raymond / Lara Hirschberg; Erin Stepowany / Laura Mead; Susan Stiles / Amber Roach; Robert Stone / Monica S. Rexach Ortiz; and Elizabeth Westfall / Gabriella Silverstein

These featured poets can thank a combination of skill and luck for rising to the top, given the large number of participants again this year.   A striking total of 125 poets submitted 260 fresh haiku.  We added these to 717 active haiku from past entries, then selected one haiku from each poet to pass along for consideration by the student artists.  Bottom line: as a group, Syracuse University artists had a total of 414 haiku to consider!

Unveiling, 2016, Card (7)

Our student artists created 24 posters, from which 16 were selected.  The selection committee consisted of Laurie Reed and Bethany Holbrook, of the Downtown Committee; Professors John Thompson and Marty Blake, of the Syracuse University Illustration Program; and Jason Evans and Jim Emmons, board members of the Syracuse Poster Project.

We hope you’ll be able to join us and we look forward to seeing you on Friday evening! But, if you should happen to miss the evening’s festivities,Kiosks_2016_82B Kiosks_32be sure to look for this year’s posters in the kiosks dotting downtown Syracuse. They’re expected to be on view by May 1.   

 

Haiku for a Slow Start to Spring

Pink clouds dot the sky                                                                                                                                                                            Black crows fly past crescent moon                                                                                                                                                       A change of weather

                                                                                     by Peter Allen (Syracuse 2013)


Whether or not you care much about the weather, it is one of the major topics of conversation anywhere, anytime, anyhow, no matter the day or the time of year.  It pretty much affects everything around us and everything we do.  We, at Syracuse Poster Project, would rightfully guess that we receive more haiku written about weather–like the fine poem above–than about any other subject!

Changes in the weather often signal a change in the season, too.  For instance, in Central New York today, while the calendar may say Spring, the weather these past few weeks has been mostly cold, dismally grey and, well…cold.  In fact, on St. Patrick’s Day–usually a fine day to celebrate the imminent arrival of Spring–there were snowbanks here that were as high as an elephant’s eye! The tulips and daffodils that had started to peek out from the cold March ground were quickly sent packing.  

Moving from March to April isn’t always easy or fast.  Thank goodness for Haiku to put this change of season into perspective!  Take, for example, this poignantly expressive haiku from frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox (Pompey, 2001):

Treetops’ sprawling arms                                                                                                                                                                        tremble, holding pale gray sky–                                                                                                                                                           snow patches linger.

Or, consider the perspective found in this uplifting haiku from Anton Ninno (Syracuse, 2008):

Last snow of the year                                                                                                                                                                                crashes down, heavy and wet                                                                                                                                                                 young buds shake it off

From Craig Overbeck, (Fayetteville, 2015), a stirring haiku with an artistic glimpse of what awaits us this Spring:

To the south, rain falls.                                                                                                                                                                  Gray brushstrokes sweep from dark clouds                                                                                                                                        To paint the hills green.

We think you’ll agree, this warm and delightful haiku by Rachel Guido deVries (Cazenovia, 2001) enriches any conversation about the weather or change of season.  Her words create a feeling beautifully captured in this poster from our 2015 Series by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lise Sukhu.  To see more of Lise’s artwork, click here.

Dog sleeps safe from rain, / nestled in blankets, my feet / warm up, beneath her

2015Guido_de_Vries_Sukhu

Over the past several months we’ve highlighted many fine haiku written by our contributors about the weather and the change of seasons in Central New York.  Our accompanying featured posters beautifully underscore and accentuate the fine work we receive.  We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these poems as well as the few highlighted here today.  

And, remember, as we move from snow to rain this season, keep this cheerful haiku, written by Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016), in mind:

March into April,                                                                                                                                                                              Shed the outer cloak, breathe and                                                                                                                                                         Take the umbrella….

Until again, stay warm, stay dry! Happy Spring!

A Haiku for Two Full Moons–Neither Blue

Springing forward this year, Daylight Savings Time brought with it the unusual surprise and delight of a full moon appearing twice over two evenings!!  Our beautiful moon was equally full on the evenings of March 11 and 12.  

This curious lunar event brings to mind the enchanting haiku poster from our 2002 Series.  A collaboration of words by poet, Bryan Wilbur, and art by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Andy Walker, the poster reflects the view outside on this wintry March evening on the cusp of Spring.

Syracuse’s crows / laugh as a fairy ringed moon / paints the frozen peace

2002 Wilbur_Walker

Stay warm and think Spring!!

A Haiku for Black History Month

What began in 1926 as the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson’s Negro History Week, Black History Month was decreed a national observance in 1976 by then President Gerald Ford to honor and celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans throughout our history.  It was not lost on its tireless proponents that Black History Month be celebrated in February – the month in which two of the most iconic figures in the history of slavery in our country were born: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Although he settled in Rochester in 1847, Frederick Douglass made several trips to Syracuse between 1840 and 1870.  In August of 1850, he lectured on the evils of slavery during a stop at Syracuse City Hall — he was on his way to nearby Cazenovia for the Fugitive Slave Law Convention which he helped organize.  More information about his travels through Syracuse, as well as a look at a rare daguerreotype of Mr. Douglass during this time, can be found at the Onondaga Historical Association on Montgomery Street, Syracuse.

From our 2008 Series, our featured haiku poster is a fitting tribute to Frederick Douglass and Black History Month here at Syracuse Poster Project.  With Bryan Wilbur’s fine haiku as its centerpiece, the wonderful depiction of Frederick Douglass was illustrated by artist, David Hicock, a Syracuse University Instructor of Film in the Department of Transmedia and owner of Animotion, Inc.

Frederick Douglass / spoke as cheering thousands sang / under this same sky

2008wilbur-hicock

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief connection between haiku, Syracuse and Black History Month!

Haiku for Your Valentine!

We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day here at Syracuse Poster Project with a newly designed–and, free–Valentine’s Day Card! Since we began issuing Valentine’s Day cards in 2013, we’ve had some beauties, but we’re especially happy with this one by Naomi Masingale. Naomi is our Outreach Intern for the Spring Semester. She graduated from Pratt with a degree in Communication Design and Illustration and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration at Le Moyne College.

You can find Naomi’s Valentine’s Day Card here.  If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can download any of our other specially designed cards here and print them yourself. You’ll have a PDF of an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet, which you can trim and fold into a 5 x 7-inch card.  Writing a haiku to your special someone couldn’t be easier!  

And, as haiku is our forte, we have searched our archives for words of Love that might inspire your own!  Here, we re-post some haiku from our 2016 Valentine’s blog.   

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) haiku transcends the ordinary with her thoughtfully chosen words:

     I chase the song of                                                                                                                                                             life. My heart knows the hidden                                                                                                                                    path, where love finds me.

Kathryn Hammer (Syracuse 2015) speaks tenderly of love with her endearing haiku:

     Love, come sit by me                                                                                                                                                         The sun is tucking in now                                                                                                                                                My shoulder is yours

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) engages us in a stolen moment of love with her charming haiku:

     Young opera moon,                                                                                                                                                           you caught us stealing kisses                                                                                                                                          Under red awnings!

Sandra Hewett’s (Syracuse 2014) haiku nicely sets the scene for a romantic evening shared with a loved one:

     Candles glow brightly                                                                                                                                                       On the table as we eat–                                                                                                                                                Faces full of love

Speaking of romance, it might be snowy and cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet: long-time Syracuse haiku contributor, Robert Gaurnier, and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working in New York City as a designer and illustrator; he is also the Creative Director at Xtreme Time Inc..

Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square

2007-gaurnier_supranowicz

If you are still stuck for ideas to give your Valentine, check out our Pinterest Board, where another of our volunteers, Naomi Coufalhas cleverly gathered together several romance-themed posters from our archives for easy viewing and shopping.

Wishing you a warm and happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter’s Grey Hue

The promised light of December’s Winter Solstice seems to have temporarily disappeared behind grey clouds this January in Central New York.  Along with cold temperatures, lingering patches of icy dirty snow have also made for some rather bleak days here.  But for the brief moments of morning sun, or the colorful flight of cheerful Cardinals and noisy Blue Jays, cloudy skies remain the dominant trademark of Winter in Syracuse.  While a backdrop of grey is not wholly unexpected this time of year, we certainly could use some clear, blue skies!

As you might expect, writing haiku brings a whole new perspective to cloudy and grey.  And, it’s a perfect antidote for cabin fever.  Digging through our archives of wonderful haiku contributed over the years by Central New York poets, we found a few which might give you pause to reflect before going completely stir-crazy!

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox (Pompey 2007), vividly taps into our search for blue skies while braving the cold on a wintry Syracuse day:

     Blue sky illusions                                                                                                                                                               scrape Winter’s gray haze—slogging                                                                                                                          numb down Salina

Pamela Lynch’s (Oneida 2013) graphic haiku brings an artist’s eye to this discussion of grey Winter skies which can indeed be quite stunning at times:

     Fronts collide to paint                                                                                                                                                       Phenomenal cloud skyscapes                                                                                                                                        Swirling overhead

From Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge), the ominous feeling of another impending storm is quite striking in this evocative 2005 haiku:

     Iron sky holding                                                                                                                                                                back the snow; the roar of rail                                                                                                                                       cars, then grave quiet

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Janine DeBaise (Kirkville 2002) and Associate Professor of Printmaking at Syracuse University, Holly Greenberg, worked together to create this remarkable poster from our 2006 Series.  Clearly, you can find beauty on a stark Winter’s day.

Snow sweeps the sidewalk / Piles fluff onto bare branches / Turns gray to glisten

2006debaise_greenberg

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat (Syracuse), finds both beauty and a kind of acceptance of Winter’s hold on us with her captivating 2009 haiku:

     geese skim the river                                                                                                                                                          as clouds gather overhead                                                                                                                                              bittersweet season

Hope you’ve enjoyed these few samplings from our archives.  It’s wonderful how writing Haiku provides a way of expressing deep emotions and seeing nature from a variety of perspectives with just a few words.  So, when Winter’s grey is making you blue, write a Haiku!

It’s Winter…and, it’s Cold!

It’s only the first month of Winter, and already, it’s cold, grey and snowy!  But, inbetween thick bursts of Lake Effect snow, we’ve had occasion to soak in brief periods of sunshine.  Sometimes,  just seeing blue sky is enough to warm up and brighten one’s mood, but overall, it’s been just plain cold!  Living with snowy, cold Syracuse Winters has been the subject of numerous haiku contributed by Central New York poets.  We’ll try to warm you up with a few of them!  

Despite the cold, getting outdoors is one way to tackle Winter.  Can you picture yourself in Rachel Brown’s (Baldwinsville, 2008) fine haiku?

     I bundle up warm                                                                                                                                                              laced up tight, feet on the ice,                                                                                                                                        the cold air at me

As cold as it is, sometimes, just standing in the falling snow can be something wonderful. Syracuse poet, William Neumire’s (2012) haiku beautifully depicts such an occasion:

     Snow in lamplight stills                                                                                                                                                   the streets until we all stop                                                                                                                                            and reach out our hands

Our featured poster from our 2007 Series exemplifies ‘cold’ in its many forms.  By using the proximity of Clinton Square’s Ice Skating rink with Syracuse’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Skaneateles poet and regular contributor to the Syracuse Poster Project, Mary L. Gardner, paints a vivid picture.  Former Syracuse University Illustration student, Chris Cascianonow a professional Illustration Artist, beautifully captures the essence of Mary’s words with his poster.

Sculpted heroes stand / guard on the icy square where / cold blades dart and glide

2007_gardner_casciano

Baldwinsville poet and frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Martin Walls (2012), finds warmth in one of Winter’s many sounds:

     Snowflake settles on                                                                                                                                                         The skating rink with the sound                                                                                                                                    Of children laughing

And, Jay Cox’s (Pompey, 2001) haiku vividly describes a typical Winter’s day in Syracuse: 

     Skaters swirl around                                                                                                                                                         Clinton Square—Lake Effect snow                                                                                                                              blankets the city

Stay Warm!

Sparkling Lights of the Season

This Holiday Season, Central New York has been white, grey and cold!  Fortunately, December traditionally warms us up a bit as it sparkles with the twinkling glow of Menorah Candles, the soft gleam of red, black and green Candles of Kwanzaa, and with the brightly colored lights wrapped ‘round a freshly cut Yuletide Tree.  As Teddi Caltabiano (Liverpool 2011) writes:

     Sidewalks gleam                                                                                                                                                                 Holiday lights softly shine                                                                                                                                              Christmas in the ‘Cuse

A nighttime drive through Syracuse’s snowy streets can indeed be a visual delight. Varicolored Christmas lights and decorations adorn neighborhood lawns, lampposts, doorways and rooftops.  Lit up Christmas Trees can be spied through curtained windows and storefronts, too.  From our 2004 Series of Posters, artist Elizabeth Crosby beautifully captures such a scene using poet, Beth Miller’s captivating words:

A Christmas Tree glows / Through windows of memory / Jasper Street – my home

2004-miller_crosby

A drive around Clinton Square on a snowy December night will make you smile, too, as warmly dressed ice skaters, laughing and singing, fly past the City’s brightly lit Christmas Tree.  This giant of a tree is covered from top to bottom with glistening lights of red, blue, green, yellow! It’s the perfect backdrop for the Square’s rink as delightfully imagined in this poster from our 2003 Series.  The haiku was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Erick Ledesma, now a busy Studio Artist living in his homeland of Puerto Rico.

around Clinton Square / flakes of falling snow dissolve / on Christmas tree lights

2003_gaurnier_ledesma

And, lest we forget, Nan Gartner (Fayetteville 2010) reminds us of the warm light of the moon, too:

     December snowflakes                                                                                                                                                       Fall by moonlight on late night                                                                                                                                    strollers in the square

Wishing you a de-light-ful Holiday Season!

Thanksgiving Greetings

Wishing you a cornucopia of good wishes for a healthy, happy and bounteous Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend with all the trimmings, warmth and comforts of the season.

From our 2014 Syracuse Poster Project Series: created by poet: Vinh Dang and artist: Chad Wallace a professional illustrator who also writes and illustrates books for children.

                                                            Shining farm market                                                                                                                                                       Season of splendid colors                                                                                                                                               Flowers kiss flowers

2014dang_wallace

The Color Orange

The color, Orange, is alive and well in Central New York.  Visually beautiful, Orange is the height of the season this year.  Shades of Orange–from Yellow-Orange to Red-Orange, light Orange to deep, nearly Brown-Orange–still dress many trees here.  But look around, and you will see blankets of Orange covering wooded stands of near-naked trees, carpeting front lawns and backyards, raked high on neighborhood curbs, stuck in the tangle of low, fading bushes, crowded into window-well corners, plugging up gutters.  Drive in the howling rain and Orange comes slapping at your windshield and paints the roadway slick!  

Bright Orange Pumpkins have been a smash hit this year, too–no pun intended!  Add to this their colorful family members, Gourds and Squashes, we now have a lush harvest, too. Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Jean Somlo (DeWitt 2014), affirms this plenteous season of Orange with her evocative poem:

     Farmer’s bounty here                                                                                                                                                       Colorful and succulent                                                                                                                                                      Cooks delight tonight

Meanwhile, up on the Syracuse University Hill and all along the Orange Corridor, the color Orange dominates playing fields aplenty!  Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Paul Goat Allen (Camillus), adeptly wraps it up with his rich 2001 haiku:

     autumn’s golden shine                                                                                                                                                     harvest, sweet corn and football                                                                                                                                  the orange city

What better way to celebrate the season of Orange than with this splendid haiku poster from our 2015 collection.  The poet: Christopher Caskey (Sicklerville 2011) and the artist: former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rob Byers now a freelance illustrator and designer.

Leaves raked–a mile high.  Young ones dive, imagining football field of glory.

2015caskey_byers

What inspires you as Autumn leaves fall?  What connotations does the color Orange instill in you?  Write your thoughts in a haiku and add it to the comments below.  We’ll publish your haiku here on our blog!

Happy Raking!

Autumn’s Brilliance

Every year, it seems, we assure ourselves that Autumn will be as colorful as the year before–our memory clearly remembering the rich Fall colors of years past.  With such a dry, hot Summer of 2016, the theory was there’d be no color to witness this Fall. Thankfully, that didn’t happen!  We think you’ll agree, this year, Autumn in Central New York has surely outdone itself what with its brilliant and long-lasting shades of red, red-orange, orange and golden yellow–even shades of mauve dressing the leaves of certain trees!

In fact, many of Central New York’s old, towering trees, some with their trunks draped in red kudzu, make for beautiful canopies along local byways and highways. Their striking colors, comforting in their familiarity, seem as warm as blankets!  This feeling is delightfully described in Sally Lloyd’s (Cazenovia 2010) haiku:

     Autumn rolls out quilts                                                                                                                                                     along Route 20 . . . Yellows                                                                                                                                            reds, golds warm our hearts

These last several days of October can be felt in this picturesque haiku by William Padgett (New Woodstock, 2008):

     Crisp Autumn sunshine                                                                                                                                                   Shadows stretch while dry leaves dance                                                                                                                    Warm scarf pulled tightly

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Bethaida Gonzalez (Syracuse 2014) and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Anna Ellis, combined their love of Autumn in this charming poster from our 2015 series.

Autumn winds comfort / spreading scents of the season / like an ocean breeze

2015gonzalez_ellis

Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse 2005) haiku adds another colorful dimension to the beauty of Autumn:

     Sea oats shimmer gold                                                                                                                                                     in October’s dimming light                                                                                                                                            waves in Autumn wind

And, from Peggy Liuzzi (Syracuse 2010), a somewhat nostalgic perspective of Autumn:

     I miss you most when                                                                                                                                                       the Autumn skyway sings with                                                                                                                                      the calls of wild geese

Autumn–it is a season of color, earthy smells and the rustling sounds of leaves flying. What is your favorite sensory experience of this season?  We’ve chosen only a few of the many beautiful haiku we have in our archives about Fall to share with you here–write us your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll share them in the next blog.

Happy Reading!

 

It’s Official–Autumn Is Here!

The Autumn Equinox arrived quietly last week, and as if on cue, end-of-September days have become cooler and starry nights, longer.  From the Syracuse Poster Project archives, our haiku contributors have found interesting ways to describe Summer’s prelude to Fall.

Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Maggie Iribarne (DeWitt 2012) observes this seasonal passage of time with her evocative haiku:

   Green gorge glimmering                                                                                                                                                 Summer’s last cold splash summons                                                                                                                            Fall’s red-gold promise

And,  Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007) gently describes how the days following the Equinox tend to be around here:

   Single Leaves flutter                                                                                                                                                         on delicate air currents                                                                                                                                                    still feels like Summer

Meanwhile, Deirdre Tait’s (Syracuse 2013) haiku vividly describes what many of us look forward to with the coming of Autumn:

   Rolling hills surround                                                                                                                                                       orchards hold the gift of Fall                                                                                                                                          crisp, juicy goodness

Our featured haiku poster is from the 2015 collection.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Gabrielle Bittel, (now a Central New York-based concept artist), the poster beautifully complements the colorful haiku written by Roseanne Olszewski.

Golden crimson leaves / Infused with sunlight hue–fall / blazing my pathway394_14_olszewski_bittel

For many of us, it’s sad to see Summer leave.  But, as Mary Cappelli (Syracuse 2013) writes, there is beauty in the leaving:

   a new slant of light                                                                                                                                                           butterflies flit in gold leaves–                                                                                                                                      So long, sweet Summer!

And finally, for this blogger, a delightfully straightforward haiku from Angelina Allen (Camillus 2014), the young daughter of frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Paul Goat Allenpretty well sums it up:

   Summer is over                                                                                                                                                                   the first day of school is here                                                                                                                                          leaves fall from the trees

How do you feel about the Autumn Equinox? Can you put your feelings about this change of season into a haiku? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below–we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Autumn!

The End of Summer “Daze” or It’s Labor Day Already!

The end of August can be somewhat bittersweet: The warm, lazy days of Summer are slowly becoming a sweet memory.  Parents, students and teachers are gearing up for a new school year to begin and college campuses have already begun conducting classes.  Baseball season is winding down while high school soccer games and football practice are largely underway. But, even though the Great New York State Fair and Labor Day officially mark the end of the Summer season, Summer stays with us until September 21!  Days remain mostly warm and sunny, the nights a bit cooler.  And, although tall, golden-eyed Sunflowers have settled back home facing East, there remain colorful songbirds at the feeder and the hum of cicadas and crickets are still lulling us to sleep.    

This time of year clearly resonates with many of our haiku contributors who savour this slow transition to Autumn.  Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2014) haiku says goodbye to Summer with a beautiful image:

Evening cricket plays                                                                                                                                                        farewell to Summer on its                                                                                                                                              hind leg violin

As does Ellen Barnes’ (Syracuse 2014) haiku:

  Sunflower faces                                                                                                                                                                  A swoosh of yellow and black:                                                                                                                                       Goldfinch dinnertime

And, Jay Cox (Pompey 2010) pays homage to Summer’s end with this expansive and thoughtful haiku:

Monarch butterflies                                                                                                                                                          dance with fading wildflowers                                                                                                                                     as the sun slides low

We wanted to share with you a series of delightful haiku posters from our collection which clearly display these final “daze” of Summer.  Enjoy!

From our 2009 Series, Artist: Q. Cassetti and Poet: David Hitchcock who writes: “Although I’m often inspired by the interplay of sound and thought, I also write about my own experiences and try to put into words memories that will resonate with others. In these poems, I want people to say, “Yes, I remember that feeling.”  I also think a little humor can open them to thoughts that they may not have had otherwise. So here the poem opens with a little humor, two puns in four words. Then it becomes slightly nostalgic, remembering summer as a child, and how fast it goes, and how baseball games and swimming can remind us of that time. There’s all that in just three little lines.

Chiefly close to home, / catching fast flying Summer / in a baseball mitt.

From our 2011 Series, Artist: Keisha Cedeno and PoetLori DiCaprio-Lee:

When the Great Fair comes / school cannot be far behind / Summer ends too soon

From our 2002 Series,  Poet: Martin Walls and Artist: James Ryan, now an Illustration teacher in Central Massachusetts:

Fizz of cicadas / Slows as evening cools—lights hum / On in Armory Square

 

A Call for Haiku!

As it’s done every mid-August since 2001, Syracuse Poster Project has announced its annual call for Haiku for its upcoming 2017 season.  Entering its 16th year, Syracuse Poster Project invites you to participate in this annual call for Haiku.  Consider this as an opportunity to contribute to the culture of our City–as your submitted haiku has the chance of becoming an illustrated haiku poster!  

In fact, if your haiku is chosen to be illustrated by a senior Syracuse University Illustration student, it will be on display for one year following our unveiling event in April!  Each of our illustrated haiku posters uniquely enhances downtown Syracuse: mounted in the City’s colorfully painted kiosks, Syracuse Poster Project posters celebrate the area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite Syracuse area pastimes, our community celebrations and events.  Our posters, like our mission, continue to bridge art and poetry within our community and with our Central New York neighbors.

This year’s call for Haiku is especially noteworthy as we are also paying special tribute to the Erie Canal’s 200th birthday!  Officially, the commemoration of this notable bicentennial of the historic Canal begins in 2017.  Syracuse–and many of the towns, cities and villages along the Erie Canal Corridor–will be hosting events and festivities to celebrate this iconic landmark.  Coincidentally, Syracuse has the distinguished honor of hosting the World Canals Conference in September 2017.  Learn more about the Erie Canal here; about the NYS Canal Corporation which manages the Canal  here.  

You can contribute to the Canal’s bicentennial festivities by writing a haiku to complement our special Erie Canal poster!  Displayed below, this colorful poster was commissioned for our special tribute by Tong “Amy” Su, a graduate student in the Syracuse University Illustration Program.  If the Erie Canal, its history and its future intrigue you, consider submitting a haiku to complement Su’s charming poster!  Visit our website for entry materials and further information here.

20893606-mmmain

 

If you are new to Syracuse Poster Project, the 2017 poster series will consist of 15 posters created the traditional way (poem first, illustration second) and one special poster created the reverse way (illustration first, poem second).  Poets may submit up to three haiku to the traditional contest and one haiku to complement the Canal poster.  We request that your Haiku have three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables; no need for title lines.  Need inspiration on writing haiku?  Look here for our wide selection of books on writing haiku, books about haiku artists, and compilations of our own archived haiku contributed by Central New York poets.

The entry deadline for your haiku is Sept. 9.  Poets will be notified if their haiku was selected for a poster in early December.  Our unveiling event happens in mid-April–and what a fun evening it is!

To download an entry form, click here.   To download the Call-For-Haiku brochure, click here.  If you would like to download a sample of the Ms. Su’s Canal poster, click here.  If you are an elementary and / or secondary school teacher, we would love to hear from you and your students, too!  Several posters have featured student poems and we enjoy the vision and spirit of student work.  If you have your class participate, please help with the selection work. For each class, send us the best five haiku.  Thank you.

And, don’t forget, all our posters are for sale on our website, here.  You will also find them on display locally as our traveling exhibit brightly lines the walls of area restaurants, cafes and college campuses.  

Happy writing!

Summer’s Small Treasures

Summer.  Long days.  Blue skies.  Bright evening stars.  Among its simple pleasures: the sweet cacophony of birdsong, the laughter of children playing, the chirping of crickets lulling us to sleep.

Many of our archived haiku reflect these simple joys of Summertime.  Here are a few of them!

Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2011) offers up a delightful poem which warmly embraces one such Summer treasure – the company of friends:

  Old-older-oldest                                                                                                                                                                Summer’s eve front porch sitters                                                                                                                                  Wine-laughter-gossip

And, Jacquelyn Green’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku cheerfully evokes a Summer treasure that never gets old:

 Dreaming of Summer.                                                                                                                                                 Double Dutch, hopscotch and friends.                                                                                                                          Good times and laughing.

For some, nothing says Summer like chasing Fireflies!  Their magical flight, on a starry Summer night, can still take us by surprise.  As part of our 2015 Syracuse Poster Project collection, our featured poster beautifully reflects a childhood we can still remember when we chased a brightly lit Firefly.  Eloquently written in 2014 by frequent contributor, Thomas Stock, this charming poster was illustrated by former Syracuse Illustration Student, Sophia Openshaw, now a freelance illustrator from Annapolis, Maryland.  

Fireflies blink brightly / Caught in jars of summer dreams / Where I once left them.

396_16_Stock_Openshaw

We’ll leave you with this 2014 haiku by Syracuse native and poet, Martin Willitts, Jr.  He writes vividly of another Summer treasure which certainly cannot be denied:

 Summer night concert                                                                                                                                               Black crickets on violins                                                                                                                                                  Bullfrogs on bassoons

What do you treasure about Summertime? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page! And, don’t forget, if you see a poster you would like to own for your home or office, visit our Shop page!

Stay Cool!

Celebrating Summer With Music

From our 2011 Syracuse Poster Project Series, poet Nancy Liccione and former Syracuse Illustration student, Kerff Petit-Frere, now a freelance illustrator out of Brooklyn, joined forces to create this telling poster of summers in Syracuse:

Fountains echo words / Blues and jazz reverberate / Summer in the Square

230_12_Liccione_Petit-FrereMusic. Festivals. Summer.  They’re synonymous with one another.  Celebrating the season nearly every weekend of Summer, festivals fill Syracuse squares and parks with all kinds of music, ethnic foods and treats, crafters and artists of all kinds, individuals and families enjoying the outdoor opportunities of coming together as a community.

Joseph Whelan’s  (Syracuse) 2015 haiku nicely describes this sense of community on one such Summer’s evening–perhaps an evening enjoying Syracuse’s Candlelight Series in Armory Square:

 Music in the night                                                                                                                                                              Neighbors gather in the square                                                                                                                                      Dancing in the street

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse) similarly recounts the pleasures of one of Syracuse’s most popular neighborhood festivals, the Westcott Street Fair with her 2015 haiku:

 Westcott Festival                                                                                                                                                                  brings out musicians, artists,                                                                                                                                         cooks, friends, and their dogs.

Peggy Liuzzi’s (Syracuse) 2009 haiku colorfully describes our collective refusal to have rain hold us back from celebrating Summer’s annual rituals, including the Syracuse Jazz Fest which inevitably has one rainy night in its lineup:

 Music fills square.                                                                                                                                                               Rain falls and the crowd blossoms                                                                                                                              With bright umbrellas.

Another Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Arlene Quizon (Roseville), richly reflects how music–think Jazz in the City or Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest–can bring us together in her 2009 haiku:

 Great Summer jazz songs                                                                                                                                               Together neighborhoods bond                                                                                                                                      Clap worries away

Even late Summer festivals, such as the Syracuse Irish Festival, bring music and community together as expressively described in Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville) 2002 haiku:

 Warm Summer night’s wind                                                                                                                                          Whispers Celtic music through                                                                                                                                        Armory Square streets

Jay Cox’s 2003 (Pompey) haiku brilliantly reminds us that Summer in CNY is incomplete without celebrating the blues–as in the NYS Blues Fest:

 Texas blues drift with                                                                                                                                                       the moonlight through a Summer                                                                                                                                night in Clinton Square

When all is said and done, our 2003 Syracuse Poster Project series haiku poster–written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Julia Cocuzza, now a working artist living in Brooklyn–says it beautifully:

Steamy Summer night– / ribs smokin’, guitars wailin’ / Blues Fest makes it right

121_03_Bobrycki_Cocuzza

Do you have a favorite Summer festival? Let us know in our comment section below, or even on our Facebook, and we’ll find a place for it in our next Blog Post!

Happy Summer!

 

Haiku to Welcome Summer

Ah, Summer!  Sunshine (mostly), long, warm days (usually), soft breezes (often)!  What better way to officially welcome Summer – and all that it promises – than with a few haiku from the Syracuse Poster Project archives!

You can practically feel one of summer’s little pleasures with this beautifully written 2014 haiku by Thomas Stock (Fort Plain):

 Cool clover carpet,                                                                                                                                                              Seduce my bare feet with dew                                                                                                                                         Summer night, you muse!

And, on an early Summer’s morning, you might be surprised to hear the unique sound of hot-air balloons overhead–like Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius) did in her 2015 haiku:

 colorful balloons                                                                                                                                                             drift lazily overhead                                                                                                                                                           breathing like dragons

….or, from a distance, you’ll see what Nan Gartner (Fayetteville) describes in her colorful 2007 haiku:

 hot-air balloons rise                                                                                                                                                       and a riot of color                                                                                                                                                               blossoms in the sky

Either way, a sure sign Summer has arrived in Central New York, is the annual Jamesville Balloonfest held at Jamesville Beach Park.  One of many Syracuse Summer festivals to feature arts and crafts, food and music, this festival is special for its lovely venue and beautiful hot-air balloons!  

And, if heights aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you’ll find one of the many Summertime events hosted by the Onondaga Historical Association, such as the Ghostwalk Tour of Oakwood Cemetery, more to your liking!  James Tobey (Cazenovia), former host of Jazz Impressions on WAER radio, found majesty in Oakwood’s grounds with his 2015 haiku:

 rooted in Oakwood                                                                                                                                                            old trees towering above                                                                                                                                                  granite monuments

….as did Mark Shevalier (Henderson) with his 2007 tribute to this tranquil and historic Syracuse landmark:

 And there they all sleep                                                                                                                                                    Beneath the earth and granite                                                                                                                                        Oakwood their fine bed

Summer would be incomplete without a visit to Thornden Park’s Amphitheater where you can help celebrate William Shakespeare’s 400th Birthday by catching a variety of theatre productions presented by the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival.  While you’re there, smell the roses (!) and become inspired–as did our poet, Rosalyn Carroll, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rebecca Zomchek, now a full time Illustration professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design.  Rebecca’s motivation behind her beautiful poster: “I have always loved Shakespeare and was very excited about the opportunity to illustrate a piece about the wonderful Shakespeare Festival in the park. I love walking out to the amphitheater in the Spring when the roses in the park are in bloom.  I wanted to create a fun and interesting piece and tried to give my version of Shakespeare a unique look and personality.  I hope this piece reflects those ideas and the wonderful haiku, and encourages everyone to enjoy the wonderful festival, garden, and arts here in Syracuse.”

Drama in the round, / Roses, far and wide abound. / Shakespeare would be proud.

18_05-Carroll-&-Zomcheck
Summertime events and haiku – what a great combination!

Celebrating Black History Month With Haiku

February may be the iconic month of Winter Celebrations. There’s Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, the first lunar day of the Chinese New Year, and Winterfest.  February is also Black History Month.  

We are celebrating Black History Month with two haiku posters from our 2008 Collection. Both haiku, at once, powerful and beautiful, were written by Syracuse poet and educator, Omanii Abdullah.  One poster was illustrated by Dusty Herbig, a Syracuse University Associate Professor; the other by Rod Martinez, also a Syracuse University Associate Professor.  Both posters can be found on and purchased from our Shop page.

I am from the hood / The hood did not enslave me / I am my master   15_02-Abdullah-&-Herbig

I have no boundaries / In this city of my birth / I, too, roam freely

14_01-Abdullah-&-Martinez

It may surprise you to learn that the celebrated American author, Richard Wright (1908 – 1960), also wrote haiku – thousands of them!  Better known for his novels, (Native Son, Uncle Tom’s Children), short stories and non-fiction (Black Boy), his haiku were written between 1959 and 1960 – the last year of his relatively short life.   A collection of his haiku was first published in 1998 as Haiku: This Other World and again in 2012 as Haiku: The Last Poetry of Richard Wright.  We’ve chosen a few of these beautiful pieces to share with you. We think you’ll agree, they aptly celebrate both Winter and February!

  Standing in the field                                                                                                                                                       I hear the whispering of                                                                                                                                                 Snowflake to snowflake

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   In the falling snow                                                                                                                                                            A laughing boy holds out his palms                                                                                                                            Until they are white.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  From across the lake,                                                                                                                                                     Past the black winter trees,                                                                                                                                         Faint sounds of a flute.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   Standing patiently,                                                                                                                                                          The horse grants the snowflakes                                                                                                                                  A home on his back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you have a favorite haiku by Richard Wright?  Send us your comments, we’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Winter Hues

Grey skies got you feeling blue?  Does it seem there’s not much more to Winter in CNY than the grey skies that tend to dominate our wintry landscape?  Well, our frequent haiku contributors have offered up some colorful images that may cheer you up.

Take, for instance, this joyful haiku by Michele Reed (Oswego, 2002):

   Red scarf, blue mittens                                                                                                                                                    A blur of color through snow–                                                                                                                                    Clinton Square skaters

Or, Ellen Wheeler’s (Fayetteville, 2015) mirthful haiku:        

   Evergreens wearing                                                                                                                                                        their coats of wintery white–                                                                                                                                      time for snow angels!

If the site of blackened roadside snowbanks distresses you, look in the radiant direction of Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s  (Syracuse, 2006) haiku:

    Chunks of ice melting                                                                                                                                                     in the cold silver-blue lake                                                                                                                                           Snow lilies floating

Or, look up, and you might see this glowing image as written in a haiku by Jay Cox (Pompey, 2005):

   Icicles glitter                                                                                                                                                                      and clouds shadow now-cloaked hills                                                                                                                      in a full moon’s light

There is so much to see in white, falling snow, too.  Take this beautifully vivid haiku by Laura Ferrel (Skaneateles, 2014):

   Snow spins through streetlights,                                                                                                                                  delicate silver threads of                                                                                                                                                downtown’s winter cloak.

Besides white, of course, David Hitchcock’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku reminds us of another familiar color we’ll find on a snowy day:

   In the Salt City                                                                                                                                                                    a yellow snow plow sows salt                                                                                                                                        as our town grows cold

Our featured image, part of the 2013 Syracuse Poster Project collection, is a vibrant and rich reminder of all the color that can be found on a dreary Winter’s day.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Carolyn Glavin and poet, Janice Scully, this haiku poster is certain to cheer.

Cardinal, feathered masked bandit

 

 

 

 

Cardinal, feathered

masked bandit on a snowy

limb–all can see you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go find some color!

 

Getting Inspired

Hope you enjoyed a pleasant Thanksgiving Holiday.  It’s been only a handful of days, really, since the last of the leftovers was eaten and the office email back under control.  And during this relatively short period of time, meanwhile, we’ve endured Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and GivingTuesday!  If you’re worn out already, you’re not alone!  

Having trouble finding poetic inspiration from a good sale?  Look no further than your favorite electronic device.  Whether it’s an iPhone, an Android, an iPad, a laptop or a desktop, there are plenty of websites and apps out there to help nudge your creative juices flowing again during this somewhat stressful time of year!

For instance, Poets & Writers, a not-for-profit organization, offers a variety of online tools and services for writers including their excellent source of inspiration,  The Time is Now E-Newsletter.  Delivered straight to your online mailbox, the e-newsletter offers weekly Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction prompts intended to kick-start your imagination.  

HaikuJAM is a relatively new app whose approach is a little different – rather than working by yourself to come up with a complete haiku, HaikuJAM offers you an interesting opportunity to collaborate with other writers to help you create – and finish – a unique piece of poetry.

There are hundreds of poetry blogs out there, too.  Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, mentioned on these pages before, offers interesting reading and thematic challenges including, an Ekphrastic Challenge – Art Inspiring Poetry. Similar to our annual Syracuse Poster Project Challenge, Rattle issues a monthly challenge using paintings or photographs to inspire poetry.  Results are fascinating!

You are likely to find inspiration right here at Syracuse Poster Project, too. Thanks to the creative work of our own database development intern, Yingxue Xiao, we recently introduced Haiku Of The Day on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Reading these daily selections is a wonderful opportunity to read, reflect and become inspired.

Happy Writing!IMG_3224

 

Haiku for a Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day–a day steeped in tradition, handed down to us from our nation’s original immigrants in celebration of a bountiful harvest.  However you spend this Thanksgiving Day…

….whether in the smallest of gestures, as exemplified simply in Mary Taitt’s (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) 2001 haiku:

To eat stale bread and                                                                                                                                coo small thanks, pigeons gather                                                                                                                     at our elder’s feet

….manning a soup kitchen, as frankly described in Silvia de la Garza’s (Manlius NY) 2011 haiku:

black and white faces                                                                                                                              awaiting the noon-day meal                                                                                                                             and Samaritans

….spending the day outdoors, as cleverly described in  Linda Liddiard’s (Moravia, NY) 2010 haiku:

  Oak leaves drift softly,                                                                                                                             Men on fields in bright colors.                                                                                                                           Tight spirals land hard.

….or gathering around the dining room table with family and friends, as vividly described in Anne Mackenzie’s (Homer NY) 2014 haiku:

  Kinfolk gathering                                                                                                                                     Pepper specks on buttered corn                                                                                                                        Black starlings scatter

….we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_3600

We Take a Poetry Hike

Poem inscribed on log
“Off the earth’s long contour, her river-veins” Environmental art installation by Alastair Noble.

As you’ve seen by our recent posts, Autumn can be a sensory experience inspiring thoughtful haiku and beautiful art.  Autumn can also be a peaceful time whether it’s reflecting the dramatic change of view outside your window or wandering through a wooded park or sanctuary.  But, it’s not just about haiku.  Poets, artists, musicians, scientists, writers—all of us, really—have something to say about nature and its effects on us.

C009A003-A0D1-4AC2-85FE-F3E113ED6D7A
Sunset along the Old Erie Canal—the stone wall at Cedar Bay Park.

Locally, you can discover art and poetry in nature by walking any of the trails along the Old Erie Canal.  The rough, hand-hewn stone bridges and aqueducts built by our immigrant ancestors are still a thing of beauty…as are the walkways and paths along which one can still become inspired by the surrounding natural beauty of the old waterway.  Or, you might find the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia more to your liking.  With beautiful vistas and inspiring installation art, the park offers many opportunities for your inner artist or poet to come alive.

Speaking of installation art, you may remember Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose masterful displays continue to inspire thoughtful reflection.  If you had the opportunity, you’ll agree that the singularly unique experience of walking through their 2005 installation of The Gates in Central Park was exhilarating!  

If you have travel plans over the holidays, or even next Spring, check out the more subtle experience of installation art found at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont.  In 2013-14, the park’s artist-in-residence, Alastair Noble, installed environmentally styled works throughout the park. Consisting of ten large ash and pine logs—planed on one side—Noble inscribed them with fragments of literature and poetry using Poe, Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot, Wittgenstein, and Shakespeare as his inspiration.  As you walk around the park, you come across the logs here and there—at first impression, mere logs.  It’s delightful how they turn up randomly, and the brevity of their inscriptions reminds us of haiku.  This incompleteness invites a kind of filling in, especially in association with the natural setting.  For a newspaper story about Noble’s art residency, CLICK HERE.

If you like your environmental poetry more fleshed out, you can also hike around the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park’s Robert Frost Poetry Trail.  Thirteen poems—complete and presented in conventional page-like formats—line the walking trail. They seem a little like homework assignments dogging you into the woods.  One wonders what Frost himself would say about these woodland installations.  Would he prefer them here to, let’s say, his poems printed on subway placards?

Robert Frost Poetry Trail
The poem, Come In, is one of 13 poems found on the Robert Frost Poetry Trail.

We are, of course, very proud of our own distinctive version of installation art.  Our beautifully illustrated haiku posters can be found year round in the many brightly decorated kiosks dotting downtown Syracuse NY.  If you like discovering poetry in the environment, or are fascinated by installation art, send us your photos and thoughts—we’ll share them here with our followers.

Happy Trails!

Autumn’s Last Hurrah

It’s Halloween night.  In a few hours, Daylight Savings Time ends and Autumn drifts more quickly towards late Fall.  Leaves that just last week were peaking in glorious color have now mostly fallen, leaving trees bare.  And if the wind doesn’t blow them down the hill and off your lawn soon, you’ll need to go out there and rake them up in the morning!

While the world around us is going through its seasonal changes, this time of year can sometimes be a bit melancholy—summer has clearly ended, leaves on trees are mostly gone, the weather is colder and wetter, you need a sweater when you leave the house, and winter is not too far behind.  But, Fall can also be a colorful opportunity for peaceful reflection, long invigorating walks, breathing in deep the smell of crisp clean air and listening gladly to the memorable sound of crunching leaves underfoot.

Syracuse poet, Amy Nicholson, contributed this skillfully written adieu to a blessedly gorgeous October in 2010:

  Round apples, red leaves                                                                                                                                             Snowflakes on jack-o-lanterns                                                                                                                                             Fade to November

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Rosalyn Carroll, (Manlius NY) deftly describes in her 2012 haiku, a carefree, joyful moment that can only happen in late Autumn:

 As I run through it,                                                                                                                                                                      a blanket of red, gold leaves                                                                                                                                                      dances behind me

Another of our favorite posters which beautifully captures Autumn’s peaceful essence was created for the 2007 Syracuse Poster Project year.  It was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Claire Bobrycki (Syracuse) and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student Lucas Slominski, now an artist for ZeniMax Online Studios in Maryland.

Breathe in--step, crunch, look. Red, gold, orange, brown--breathe out. Fall in Syracuse
Breathe in–step, crunch, look. Red, gold, orange, brown–breathe out. Fall in Syracuse

In 2008, Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor,  William Padgett, (Woodstock NY) wrote this vivid poem, beautifully echoing Autumn’s last hurrah:

Crisp autumn sunshine                                                                                                                                                   Shadows stretch while dry leaves dance                                                                                                                           Warm scarf pulled tightly

So, don’t forget to set your clock and ‘fall back’ til Spring, put away those Halloween treats, get your sweater on and rake up those leaves!

Happy Autumn!

Autumn’s Apple Harvest

Apples, Apples, Apples! Nothing says Autumn better than apples–Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Cameo, Paula Red, Granny Smith, Gala, Ginger Gold, Macoun, McIntosh, Empire, Fuji, Jonamac, Jersey Mac–take your pick!  Red, green, soft, firm or crisp, there is nothing like the sweet essence of fresh Autumn apples. Add a little sugar–maybe some flour and butter, too–and you have apple crisp, apple fritters, apple sauce, apple pie and apple donuts.  Of course, don’t forget sweet or hard apple cider, apple wine, even apple vodka!  Need we say more?  

Well, yes, actually…our local poets have plenty to say about apples, too!  Digging through our archives, we found several haiku from our contributors.  We thought we’d share a couple with you including this artfully written haiku by Sallie Bailey (Fayetteville NY) in 2010.  If you’ve ever driven south on I-81 towards Lafayette and Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards, you’ve seen this remarkably beautiful scene! 

 South of the city                                                                                                                                                                        Orchards unfold like carpets                                                                                                                                               Patterned with apples

Kathleen Nyzio’s (Skaneateles NY) charming 2011 haiku deftly describes the sensory effects apples can have on us–even in our dreams and memories!

 Sweet apple orchards                                                                                                                                                            Cinnamon spice flooded dreams                                                                                                                                                  Wake me up, autumn!  

And since we’re speaking today of apples, we could not resist (no pun intended) revisiting this gorgeous 2004 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster.  The poet: frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor,  Peggy Liuzzi.  The artist, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Morgan McArdle, now a storyboard artist and illustrator living in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Like Eve in Eden I wander apple-lush hills dreaming my first bite
Like Eve in Eden
I wander apple-lush hills
dreaming my first bite

Whether apple picking or baking an apple pie with your mother, whether a warm memory of hot cider after raking fallen leaves or bobbing for apples at a Halloween party, apples and Autumn go hand-in-hand.  We think you’ll agree, Marilyn Shelton’s (Baldwinsville NY) 2005 haiku exquisitely captures Autumn’s many treasures:

 Twilight’s harvest sky                                                                                                                                                                Frames apple boughs, pumpkins, drifts                                                                                                                                       of leaves. We are home.

Happy Autumn!

Autumn Storms

By now, you’ve no doubt noticed the hundreds of fallen Autumn leaves blanketing your yard!  A beautiful, summer-like Columbus Day weekend, was bookended by slate-grey skies and stormy weather.  Wind, rain and mostly cloudy skies have been the norm ever since.  With the wind howling and blowing so hard at times, one would think Hurricane Joaquin had decided to stay in Syracuse for a few days! Leaves have been flying all about like heavy snowflakes, slapping windshields and office windows, scurrying across busy roadways, drifting against sidewalk curbs, piling up into small colorful mounds inside window wells and under porch steps.  Along with the wind, cold rain has left roads slick with wet fallen leaves, covering neighborhood lawns and city streets.  Fall has most certainly made a landing here in Syracuse!

If you’ve been out and about during any of these storms, we think you will agree: this 2007 Syracuse Poster Project publication vividly describes a scene you may have witnessed in your travels.  The poem was written in 2001 by Syracuse’s Sherry Chayat; the artist, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Maria Teresa Madariaga, a freelance illustrator from New York.

Geese Honking Southward Over Onondaga Creek-- Whirling Dervish Leaves
Geese Honking Southward
Over Onondaga Creek–
Whirling Dervish Leaves

Pompey poet, and Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox, richly captured a similar blustery scene with his 2006 haiku:     

  A world of faces                                                                                                                                                       congregates at a crosswalk—                                                                                                                                           leaves pass in the wind                                                                                                                                                            

Another of our archived haiku, which splendidly reflects Autumn’s ofttimes tempestuous weather, was written in 2008 by Jungtae Lee of Syracuse:

  Winds gather the clouds                                                                                                                                                         the city moves through the leaves                                                                                                                                         my collar goes up

What moves you when stormy Autumn weather brews up a howling wind?  Write us your thoughts in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Autumn!

Scarecrows, Pumpkins and Mums, oh my!

Have you noticed all the playful scarecrows and plump pumpkins on your drive into work these first few weeks of Autumn? They seem to be everywhere–decorating lamp posts and porch steps and cheering up many a cloudy morning.  And don’t forget those towering sunflowers and short colorful mums wherever you look!  

We found this lovely tribute to early autumn sunflowers in our archives.  It was written in 2007 by Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sharon Rorer of Syracuse, NY:

Lofty sunflowers
arrayed in golden splendor
heads above the rest

Autumn is undoubtedly transforming the CNY landscape as we say goodbye to Summer.  Shorter days, cooler nights have been the most noticeable, with treetops turning red and gold overnight.  Elephant’s eye-high corn fields have been mostly cut or built into crazy mazes for Halloween fun, while local pumpkin patches are overflowing with vivid shades of orange.

Using pumpkins as her theme, a 2012 haiku by Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jane Verostek of Syracuse, New York, charmingly depicts this change in the season:

Sunset awakens
winding trails of pumpkin dreams
nature is glowing

Our featured Syracuse Poster Project image this week beautifully illustrates autumn’s slow and colorful transformation of the Syracuse area.  Created in 2007, the haiku was written by Syracuse, NY poet Sherry Chayat and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Emily Lopuch, now an illustrator and aspiring writer living in Rhode Island.

Flotilla of ducks Swimming toward Armory Square Don’t know summer’s gone
Flotilla of ducks
Swimming toward Armory Square
Don’t know summer’s gone

Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Sheila Forsyth of Fayetteville, NY, wrote this touching farewell to Summer in 2011.

Traitor trees with their
Turncoat leaves give up summer
To winds of autumn

How do you celebrate the arrival of Autumn? Can you sum it up in a Haiku? Send us your haiku in the comments and we’ll publish it here on the Poetry Blog next week!

Happy Autumn!

Rattle #47 – Japanese Forms Issue

Back in the Spring of 2014, we announced on our Poetry Blog, the call for submissions of Japanese forms of poetry (including our favorite: Haiku) from Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century.  The results have been published in Rattle #47.  You can find this colorful edition at http://www.rattle.com/poetry/print/40s/i47/.   Some selections may surprise you!

Enjoy!

Harvest Scenes from CNY

While the calendar says Autumn, it still feels like Summer in CNY. The sound of crickets has quieted at night and the kids are gone back to school. But the hustle and bustle at your local farmer’s market is still hopping! Last week, we wrote about celebrating the change of seasons with the bountiful harvests found nearly everywhere you turn here in CNY. In fact, you can still gather late summer fruits and vegetables from one of the many fruitful markets dotting Syracuse area communities.

When we did not receive any new Harvest Haiku in response to our last post, we decided to dig a little deeper into our archives of un-illustrated haiku. We came across a few which splendidly reflect these end of September harvest days.

This richly worded haiku was written in 2009 by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat, from Syracuse, NY. Can you just picture this singular moment?

in harvested fields
geese forage for a last meal
then rise up shrieking

Or this haiku? A picture postcard scene you might see on a drive down a country road in CNY! The poem was written in 2014 by Kathleen Pickard from Jordan, NY.

Corridor of corn, 
Rows of stately sentinels
guarding country roads

Another of our favorite haiku posters reflecting our bountiful CNY home was created in this beautiful Syracuse Poster Project illustration in 2003. The poet: Michele Reed. The former Syracuse University illustration student: Sebastian V. Martorana now an artist living and working in Baltimore, MD.

2003SYR13
      rich purple eggplant             vies for space in my basket    with summer’s last greens

Lynn McDonald, formerly of Syracuse and now living in Utah, beautifully sums up this week’s thoughts in her 2008 haiku:

harvested corn and
red leaves of autumn whisper
cornucopia

What is your favorite September moment? Send us your haiku in the comments and we’ll publish it here on the Poetry Blog next week!

Happy Harvest!

A Reason to Celebrate

One of our primary tenets here at the Syracuse Poster Project is to celebrate our hometown of Syracuse and its CNY neighbors with illustrated haiku.  Oftentimes, a change of season in CNY is seen as a time of celebration and offers a wellspring of ideas for many of our haiku contributors.  

In fact, the time between late August and mid-September, when purple Asters and Queen Anne’s Lace still line country byways, is also the time we celebrate the region’s bountiful harvests and bid farewell to summer.  

Over the years, we’ve received wonderful haiku about this time of year.  We recently dug into our treasure trove of un-illustrated poems and found several delightful haiku describing singular moments of this colorful season.  

Take this richly imaged haiku, for example, written in 2009 by Syracuse, NY poet, Sherry Chayat:

                                                       in harvested fields                                                                                                                                    geese forage for a last meal                                                                                                                              then rise up shrieking                                                                            

And this cheerful haiku, written in 2013 by Martville, NY poet, Carol Corwin:

                                                        doe with spotted fawn—                                                                                                                        heads raised above rows of corn                                                                                                                          ready for harvest    

You may have seen some of our harvest themed haiku beautifully interpreted by our Syracuse University illustration students as posters in the many kiosks dotting Syracuse’s downtown.

One of our favorite haiku posters of this bountiful CNY season was created in 2014. The haiku was written in 2010 by Manlius, NY poet, Rosalyn Carroll and illustrated by former SU Student, Abbey Lossing, now an art director at Buzzfeed.

04_Carroll_Lossing

What do you like most about this time of year? Send us your Harvest Haiku in the comments and we will publish it here on our Poetry Blog.

Happy Harvest!

Meet the Illustrator of Our Dog Rescue Poster

Dog Rescue in Syracuse, NY
A cropped version of Tim Coolbaugh’s dog rescue illustration for the 2016 poster series.

Our annual call for haiku is in full swing until the deadline of Sept. 4. The 2016 poster series will consist of 15 posters created the traditional way (haiku first, illustration second) and one special poster created in reverse (image first, haiku second).

For the special poster, artist Tim Coolbaugh illustrated a dog rescue scene. At first glance, it’s a simple image of a dog in the passenger seat of a car, as seen from the driver’s perspective, with Clinton Square in the background. The back story is more elaborate.

Coolbaugh graduated from the Syracuse University with a master’s degree in illustration and has overseen the illustration program’s symposium. He is also a dog-lover, has owned several rescue dogs, and volunteers as a driver for dog rescue services. He has been helping to transport dogs from kill shelters to places that will find them homes since 2002. He estimates he has helped 2,300 dogs and cats, but mostly dogs.

“Most of the time, I’m a link in a chain,” Coolbaugh said. “Very rarely am I the person who starts the dog off, or who makes a placement in Syracuse. Usually, the dogs are on their way someplace else.”

In Coolbaugh’s typical scenario, dogs are traveling from the south, where kill shelters are prevalent, to destinations in Canada or New England. Each week as many as 12 transports may travel through Syracuse.

Coolbaugh participates in a network of 30 to 40 volunteer drivers. The transports usually take two days, with each driver driving 75 to 100 miles for a rendezvous. Coolbaugh drives on Sundays, and may make two or three runs in a given day.

“What I get out of this is knowing that the animal is safe and is going to have a life,” he said.

The dog that shares its life with Coolbaugh is Velvet, a seven-year old black Lab.

Last year, before joining us as an illustrator, Coolbaugh submitted this haiku:

Driving through the ‘Cuse,

a shelter dog by my side,

a fresh start awaits.

To submit haiku to complement Coolbaugh’s illustration, or haiku for the traditional call for haiku, visit our website.