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Introducing Curbside Haiku

What are these funky signs in Downtown planters, along sidewalks, etc.?

To celebrate its first year of operations, Downtown Tulsa Partnership partnered with Magic City Books in July 2022 to decorate Downtown Tulsa with poetry communicating Downtown’s vibrancy and inclusivity. Haiku submissions were solicited among Downtown stakeholders, and 10 were selected, printed on yard signs and temporarily installed in the public right-of-way throughout Downtown.

Who are the winners?

Judges selected the following 10 haiku winners. Their work will be on display for the next 30-45 days.

Who created the cool background?

Downtown Tulsa Partnership commissioned Tulsa artist May Yang to design a backdrop for the winning haiku.

May is a Tulsa-based artist, printer, designer, and business owner. She works with printmaking and mixed media techniques to produce work that processes the information overload common in our digital age.

May graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. While there, she interned for Dolphin Press & Print, the school's print workshop, where she assisted in printing editions for Jon Rappleye, Jane Kent and Faith Ringgold. Continuing her interest in collaborative printmaking, May attended the Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico and earned her Professional Printer’s Certificate. May has participated in a number of juried and invitational group shows, including IPCNY New Prints, OVAC’s 24 Works on Paper (2011 & 2022), and Momentum Tulsa Spotlight. May participated in a number of group shows with Tulsa’s ETA collective, a group of early to mid-career artists working in a variety of mediums, until the group’s dissolution in 2018. Following a long hiatus from creating personal work, May fell in love with painting murals and found it to be a gateway to developing a creative practice again. May is one of OVAC’s Fellowship Award recipients for 2022.

Outside of her art, May owns Flash Flood Print Studios, Tulsa’s artist-led, community-driven print shop.

What about the poets who didn't win?

With nearly 30 entrants, selection was a difficult choice. Here are the other submissions that met entry requirements:

Busy people pass,

Lucky few survey the scene.

Art Deco beauty.

— Ronda Falkensten, It’s Been There


The pulse of Downtown throbs

for all who walk her streets.

Philtower Gargoyles breathe.

— Emma Livingston, Inhale, Exhale Tulsa


Our downtown Tulsa

Energy, diversity

A city we love.

— Margo Mitchell, Tulsa Vibe


Skyline warm with the

Expansive intimacy

Of small journeys home

— Max Nobel, Abiding in Light


Red brick, red brick stands

Strong sheltering new colors

Tulsa blooms anew

— Margaret Hartley, Perennial (Tulsa Arts District)


Sprouts come to life on green wood stems,

souls resurrected in burnt black soil.

— Bob Baker, Tulsa, OK 74114


Meeting the moment

Engaging and embracing

Witness its greatness

— MT Sea, Tulsa Time


acknowledge our past anticipate our future

community vibes from Route 66

a backdrop of Art Deco funky Tulsa thrives

— Gena Nelson, Tulsa Vibes


may the peace, here, be proportional to the past ashes, in the street

— Mason Kiser, Rectification


In the green woods of Tallasi

night and day

share shadows.

— Kaveh Bassiri, Neighbors


A winding path of men's voice

circles back to the center of universe

— Seungho Lee, The Center of Universe


Walking downtown, sun and dust,

workers and wanderers, a friend of ours.

— Seungho Lee, Walking Downtown


Standing on a circle,

Windless days and nights passing by,

Suddenly, I heard.

— Seungho Lee, The Center of Universe


Delicious and chill,

Boston Title and Abstract,

Everyone welcome!

— Erica Janczak, Miss This City and Restaurant!

Map of Curbside Haiku Locations

Placement is in process. Check back soon for a map of ALL locations!