Library calls for poetry submissions

Kelly Hueckman, Staff Writer

A recent call for poetry encourages local writers to submit their work to the Oshkosh Public Library to be considered for display on Main Street.

In a partnership with the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), the Oshkosh Public Library is accepting original poetry submissions until Feb. 28 to be evaluated by a panel of judges.

Oshkosh Public Library
The Oshkosh Pubic Library is asking for people to submit their
poetry to be displayed on Main Street storefronts.

Selected poems will be displayed in Main Street storefronts throughout National Poetry Month as Downtown Oshkosh introduces its first April Poetry Walk.

Writers of all ages and backgrounds are invited to submit up to four entries to highlight talent from every corner of the community, including UW Oshkosh.

UW Oshkosh Junior Hannah Allen shared her love for writing and sharing her poetry, which blossomed from her involvement in her local 4-H club.

“It engages the reader and challenges them to imagine ideas in new and strange ways,” Allen said.
Allen uses poetry as a mode of “thought-transmission” that allows her to communicate her thoughts in a manner that is close and unique to her.

Although Allen has experience having her work judged and posted at county fairs, the Oshkosh Public Library’s call for poetry provides an opportunity for writers who are looking to expand their audience or even just begin to share their work with others.

Oshkosh Community Engagement Librarian Sandy Toland describes this event as an opportunity for all community members to build confidence in sharing their work.

“Sharing yourself with a larger audience can be daunting, but necessary to move the public conversation,” Toland says.
Work selected by the judging panel during this event will do just that, as it will be displayed during Oshkosh’s first April Poetry Walk.

The idea for the Poetry Walk was inspired by other story walks in the community and correlates with the addition of Oshkosh’s first Poet Laureate position, filled by panel judge Tom Cannon.

“What better way to highlight this new position and to add to the national conversation than to host a poetry walk in our neighborhood,” Toland said.

Toland urges that this event is not a competition, but rather a platform to share local voices.
“I encourage everyone to astonish themselves by adding their voice,” she urges.

Submissions for original poetry will be accepted through Feb. 28. Entries can be submitted either through the library’s website, at any of the library’s service desks or mailed to Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave., Oshkosh, WI 54901, ATTN: Sandy T.