The Calumet Artist Residency’s Gary Poetry Project, a yearlong effort to fill the Steel City with verse, is nearing its end.
The Miller-based arts group has held poetry workshops across the city, distributed a zine of historic Gary poems and painting a sprawling citywide poem on plyboard on abandoned buildings across the city.
“The Calumet Artist Residency wishes to thank the many hundreds of people who made the Gary Poetry Project happen and made it a fun experience,” the group said in a statement. “As with most projects, some work remains. As the weather allows, the Calumet Artist Residency will continue to paint plywood with the remaining poems collected during the year. We are currently manufacturing a public art poem ‘Gary Is’ and plan to install this large wall of cedar in the spring.”
Next year, the group plans to launch a website to document the project. It will include its Exquisite Corpse group poems, including the “Made In Gary” and “Gary Is” poems composed of lines from more than 50 workshops over the course of the year.
“The Gary Poetry Project began as an exploration of the city's deep and rich poetic culture,” the Calumet Artist Residency said in a statement. “Thanks to the creativity and spontaneity of Gary residents and visitors, the project became so much more: an intergenerational civic dialogue, a street art campaign, and a different way of reading the city.”
As the project winds down, the Gary Poetry Project is planning a few final events before the end of the year.
On Dec. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., a final workshop will take place in the family room of 18th Street Brewery, 5725 Miller Ave. in Gary’s Miller neighborhood.
Then a grand finale will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at the ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, 411 E. Fifth Ave. in downtown Gary. The poets Jerry Crisler, Krystal Wilson, Walter Jones, Dylan Hollingsworth, Krissy Mosley, Terra Cooks and Dionte Glover will read their work and reflect on the course of the yearlong project.
Anyone who’s interested still can submit a line to the city poem through Dec. 15 by submitting to firstname.lastname@example.org.