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Haiku & Art Installed Along Downtown Tulsa Streets During April, National Poetry Month

April 4, 2024 — Poetry and visual art are springing up along Downtown Tulsa curb lines this week for “Curbside Haiku,” a temporary annual public art project by Downtown Tulsa Partnership (DTP).

Debuting in 2022, Curbside Haiku activates Downtown’s public right-of-way and celebrates the neighborhood’s vibrancy and inclusivity. This year, a call to the public to submit short poems called haiku resulted in 155 entries from people of various ages, a 40 percent increase over 2023 participation.

Judges from Downtown project partners Magic City Books and the Woody Guthrie Center selected 10 haiku winners and, following a public call for artists, DTP commissioned Tulsan Jessica Newman to design a backdrop for the poetry. This week, 150 “art boards” featuring the winning poems and artwork are being installed in Downtown tree wells and planter beds. A map of Curbside Haiku art boards, which will remain up through May 15, can be found here.

“National Poetry Month in April is a perfect time to unveil DTP’s third annual Curbside Haiku activation, which continues to grow in popularity,” said Morgan Phillips, Downtown Tulsa Partnership’s Director of Marketing & Experience. “I love to see how poets and artists are inspired by Downtown Tulsa, and I can’t wait for the public to experience these creative expressions.”

Newman is a Tulsa-based artist inspired by nature and music. She specializes in painting life-sized, abstract animals and portraits of women, but was eager to use a digital medium for this project. “Inclusivity encourages collaboration and connection,” says Newman, a lesbian artist with Native heritage. “Having a space where everyone feels welcome brings people together and allows creativity to flow. In this piece, I wanted to represent energy and ideas gathering in the center, intertwining and dispersing over everyone.”

The 10 winning poets are Suzanne Bruce, Claire Collins, Jewell B N Hunt, Page Isley, Cheryl Kane, Paige Palestini, Teresa Parker, Cheryl Sanders, Ellen Stanley and Jeff Thompson. All poetry submissions can be found at

For the first time, DTP is partnering with Magic City Books for a public block party, the Magic City Book Bash, this Saturday, April 6, that celebrates local authors of all kinds. The Curbside Haiku winners will read and be recognized for their work at 11:30 a.m. at Magic City Books, 221 E. Archer St. This family-friendly event will also include the Tulsa City-County Library’s Bookmobile (along with a special storytime), a DJ, booths from community partners and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on East Archer Street between North Detroit Avenue and MLK Jr. Boulevard.

For more about Downtown Tulsa programs and initiatives, visit