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Poster by poet Omanii Abdullah and artist Rod Martinez

  interactive map, Syracuse, location, posters, artiest, poets, poems Explore the interactive map, lower right, of landmarks and locales that have inspired posters over the years.

What We Do

The Syracuse Poster Project, founded in 2001, brings together community poets and 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 downtown, the city at large or the nearby countryside. Each year, approximately 100 poets participate, each submitting up to three haiku. (Browse the landmarks and locales that have resulted in posters by clicking on the interactive map at the left.)

From 2001 to 2017, we collaborated with a senior illustration class at Syracuse University, whose students would select and illustrate haiku. In 2018, we broadened our reach by implementing an open call for Central New York artists. Each year approximately 40 artists commit to participating. After screening haiku, we allot four of our favorites to each artist. Artists then select and illustrate their preferred haiku.

We occasionally supplment the standard posters with a "reverse process" poster. We commission an artist to create an image. We then publize the image and invite our poets to complement it with a haiku.

In November, we select the best of the traditional and supplmental work for a total of 16 to 18 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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