Piggybacking off a Rutland, Vt., event featuring poets from around the world, Dublin celebrates Poetry Month with its inaugural Poetry Walk now through April 30.
The program, curated by Dublin poet laureate and "Viewless Wings" podcast host James Morehead, features 28 poems covering personal journeys, love, loss, the beauty of nature and even a handful acknowledging the places and scenery that make Dublin special.
Morehead said he read through 154 submissions from poets in Canada, Ireland and across the United States to determine which poems would reside along the 26-stop route across Dublin.
"I looked at Tri-Valley, and especially Dublin, poets first," Morehead said, "then expanded the set to include the 'best of' submissions from outside of the Tri-Valley ... It was a very difficult decision to make. A few of the poems that didn't quite work for the Poetry Walk will appear on the 'Viewless Wings' poetry podcast in a future episode."
Among the selected pieces is Morehead's poem, "At the Crossroads," which he wrote about Dublin in honor of the city's 40th anniversary. "At the Crossroads" is one of two poems viewable at Dublin's Civic Center and hangs near "Dublin Pride," penned by Dublin High School freshman Sanvi Pasala.
"I wrote the poem 'Dublin Pride' after my English teacher told me about how Dublin was accepting submissions for the 40th anniversary of Dublin," Pasala said.
"I love writing poetry because there aren't any rules to follow and you can be really creative while writing," Pasala added. "I enjoyed writing a poem about Dublin because I was able to show all the great aspects of Dublin coming from my point of view. It was a delight to combine two big aspects of my life, which are writing and my home, Dublin, into one poem that describes this beautiful city and its people."
While pieces by Morehead and Pasala are part of a group of stops that includes poems at nearby Raham Mediterranean Grill, Athens Burger, the Dublin Library and Art Process, one of Morehead's favorite works, Jennifer deBie's "Dublin," is displayed almost three miles away at Bagel Street Cafe off Dublin Boulevard.
"I particularly love Jennifer deBie's 'Dublin' poem, which she wrote specifically for Dublin's Poetry Walk," Morehead said. "Jennifer is a writer based in Ireland who crafted her poem around Dublins in Ireland, Texas and California."
Dublin businesses, from Mountain Mike's Pizza and Loard's Ice Cream off San Ramon Road to Amazing Basil and a Cup Of off Fallon Road, volunteered to participate in the multi-mile Poetry Walk, and although trekking across Dublin to view every poem is encouraged, Morehead said it would be a "marathon-length walk" to visit each of the sites in one day.
There are, however, clusters of poetry viewable downtown and a map of all locations available on Morehead's Viewless Wings website.
"Local businesses and organizations 'raised their hands' to participate, and were all very excited to receive their Poetry Walk poster, which I hand-delivered," Morehead said. "It was so satisfying visiting each of the local businesses and organizations, who are all looking for ways to attract customers back after a challenging two years."
As an added incentive to visit the participating businesses and view the poems, Morehead is selecting five individuals to receive signed copies of his books, "canvas" (2021) and "portraits of red and gray" (2022).
To enter, take a selfie with Poetry Walk posters, upload the photo to social media and tag the image with #DublinPoetryWalk. Additionally, Morehead said, individuals are invited to tag him directly, @dublinranch on Twitter or @viewlesswings on Instagram.
"I'm so excited to see the event come together with so many contributing poets and participating organizations," Morehead said. "A high bar has been set for next year ... I've seen parents standing with their children reading a poetry poster and then talking about the poem, which is wonderful. Be entertained; be moved; be inspired by Dublin's first Poetry Walk for National Poetry Month."