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May 9 - 11:59 pm EDT

Virtual Event

Poetry on the Pavement Submission Deadline

Submit to a great new project by Norfolk Arts

Poetry on the Pavement aims to celebrate and acknowledge Norfolk poets. The project will engage the senses and emotions of pedestrians, with the potential to create moments of joy, empathy, and reflection. Approximately 20 poems from local poets will be curated, made into stencils, and painted on sidewalks and pedestrian pathways throughout Norfolk.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to poets who live, work, or go to school in Norfolk, Virginia. (If you take Muse classes or teach at The Muse, you are welcome to apply!) Artists will grant the City a notarized copyright waiver for the use of their poems for public display and for print and promotional use. Poets will be credited for their work and will retain all other rights. Members of the selection committee and Arts and Humanities and Public Arts Commissions may not submit poems.

POEM REQUIREMENTS: Poems should be short—up to 150 characters including title, not counting spaces or punctuation. Due to the scale and structure of sidewalks, line breaks in the poems must be phrased to fit in approximately 3’ lengths, which is a maximum of 18 characters per line. Poets are allowed an additional 15 characters for their name or pen name. Poems should be original, unpublished works; or if previously published, rights must have reverted to the poet.

PROJECT FUNDS: $150 will be awarded for the use of each selected poem. Selected poems will be reproduced at multiple locations and published on and city social media platforms.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Sunday, May 9, 2021, 11:59 PM EDT

HOW TO SUBMIT: Poets may submit up to three individual poems saying something that only a poem can say. Poets may want to consider themes of daily life, of a sense of space and place, or thoughts of Norfolk. Writers should consider that these poems will appear in residential neighborhoods. People of all ages and backgrounds will stroll across and read them. Submission must be submitted via email to by 11:59 PM EDT on May 9, 2021. There is no application fee to apply.

– A short biography of up to three sentences.
– Up to three poems to the specifications listed above.

Sunday, May 9, 2021, 11:59 PM EDT, submittal due
May 2021, selection announced
Summer 2021, poetry installation
Poems will be allowed to fade naturally over time

SELECTION CRITERIA AND AWARD CONSIDERATIONS: Selections will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value and creativity. The city will consider the diversity of beliefs and values and general standards of decency of the citizens of Norfolk.

QUESTIONS/FOLLOW UP: Questions about this project may be directed to Karen Rudd, at or Debra Burrell, at