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

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It’s Our Annual April Event!

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

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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!

 

 

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!

 

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!  

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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

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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), 

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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!  

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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!  

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Cannon David, artist

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

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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.  

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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!

 

 

 

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Reading Haiku & Talking Art!

 

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

 

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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.