The Elgin Cultural Arts Commission presents the Elgin Pop-Up Poetry Project during the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. This public art project features fifteen 29x40 panels – each with a photo and poem – now gathered in a window display at the Associated Bank, 16 North Spring Street, downtown Elgin. The Elgin Pop-Up Poetry Project is sponsored by the City of Elgin , Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, Downtown Neighborhood Association, Palmer Foundation and Associated Bank.
In April 2011, the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission sent out a call to writers of all ages to submit a poem based on a theme. The theme for the project was Icons of Elgin, which could be a person, place or thing. “We received close to 100 submissions from the public,” said Elgin Cultural Arts Commission Chairman and project coordinator Sean Hargadon. “We then selected fifteen to be displayed in the final project.”
Joining the poems were photos selected from previous 1440 Photography Project submissions – another project sponsored by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission since 2006 that invites local photographers to submit photos celebrating a day in the life of Elgin . The photos were also based upon a theme and 15 were chosen to be paired with the poems.
“When we developed this project the goal was to get poetry and photography out in front of the public and downtown,” said Hargadon. “The great thing about the bank is the large windows, which make viewing the panels an exciting experience.”
The whole installation surrounds the building, telling a story about what it is like to be in Elgin . It’s a visceral experience, adds Hargadon.
The Elgin Pop-Up Poetry Project will be on display in the windows at the Associated Bank, 16 North Spring Street in downtown Elgin throughout the month of April. To learn more about Elgin Pop-Up Poetry Project and see all the poems submitted go to www.elginarts.org/poetry2011.