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Poster by poet Omanii Abdullah and artist Rod Martinez

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What We Do

The Syracuse Poster Project, founded in 2001, brings together community poets and Syracuse University artists to create an annual series of illustrated poetry posters.

The process begins with a call for poetry. Over the summer, the project solicits the three-line form of poetry known as haiku. Poets submit work about the downtown, the city at large, or the nearby countryside. Each year, approximately 100 poets participate, each submitting up to three haiku.

Professor Marty Blake, who teaches Advanced Illustration for SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, assigns the Project to a group of 20 to 40 students. Each student creates an illustrated poster, using a haiku of the student’s choice.

In certain years, we also invite graduate students, faculty and alumni artists to participate. The 2017 series, for instance, include 15 posters created by senior students and one poster created by Tong "Amy" Su, a graduate student.

We then combine the supplemental work and a selection of the best work by students for a total of 16 posters.

The posters reach the community in three ways:

Through the city’s downtown poster panels. In April, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse posts full-format posters (43 x 62-inches) in the poster panels of Salina and Warren streets. The posters remain on display for a year.

Through the sale of poster prints. These 11 x 17-inch prints are small versions of the full-format posters.

Through the display of poster prints. A framed set of poster prints goes on rotating loan to downtown exhibit spaces throughout the year.

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