Water is elemental to the magic of Rain Poetry, so a little wet weather was the perfect accompaniment for PA Humanities’ latest reveal of poetry in Philadelphia.
Mother Nature got in on this most recent celebration of literacy, the voices of youth and using the humanities to inspire learning with a little rain to liven the display learning outside Lillian Marrero Library in North Philadelphia. Visitors to the library can now see haiku written by local students installed on colorful signs leading to the library’s entrance and on the ground using water-activated paint that’s invisible when dry but reveals the hidden poetry when wet. The first two locations to receive Rain Poetry installations were Vernon Park in Germantown and Carroll Park in West Philadelphia earlier this summer.
“We now have three public spaces throughout Philadelphia where people can engage with the humanities and enjoy and appreciate the creative work made by young people from their neighborhood,” said Dawn Frisby Byers, PA Humanities’ senior director of content and engagement. “And our reveal celebrations are always special because you see the joy and pride our young poets experience as they share their words with the world.”
Rain Poetry, which is one of PA Humanities’ signature 50th anniversary projects, started during the last school year when we connected youth from different neighborhoods across the city with local poets who taught students in grades three through five about the art of haiku. The young poets then went to work putting their voices to paper writing on the theme, “What Makes You Grow?” The students whose work is featured participated both at Lillian Marrero and at Mighty Writers North Philadelphia branch.
Local poets and teaching artists LindoYes and Khaliah Pitts, who facilitated some of the Rain Poetry workshops, were at the celebration to read and introduce the students, who recited their poems.
There are still two more installations to come in Philadelphia, and then we’re on the move! Rain Poetry installations are currently being planned for both Pittsburgh and Johnstown for next spring, and we’ll be announcing all our upcoming dates on our website and social media. Check out the map of where you can currently find Rain Poetry installations and learn more about the project here!