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Poetry Springs Up Along Downtown Tulsa Streets During Temporary Art Installation

TULSA, OKLA. (March 27, 2023) —  “Curbside Haiku,” a temporary public art project by Downtown Tulsa Partnership, is bringing the written word to the streets of Downtown Tulsa for the second year.

Downtown Tulsa Partnership debuted Curbside Haiku in 2022 to celebrate Downtown’s vibrancy and inclusivity. This month, a call to the public to submit short poems called haiku resulted in more than 100 entries.

In partnership with Magic City Books and the Woody Guthrie Center, 10 winning poems were selected, and Downtown Tulsa Partnership commissioned Tulsa artist Dawn Tree to design a backdrop for the poetry.

Tree is a Tulsa-based artist, entrepreneur, and activist whose pieces often provoke thoughts of community, humanity, spirituality and connections to present and past. Tree says her Curbside Haiku art depicts an abstract fist, which often symbolizes respect, power, and advancement. “There are vibrant colors sprouting and reaching from the fist, representing positive energy vibrating through the atmosphere,” Tree said.

Tree’s work and the 10 winning poems are featured on 150 art boards placed in tree and planter beds throughout Downtown Tulsa, where they will remain for the next 30-45 days. A map of Curbside Haiku locations can be found here.

“This spring, we received nearly four times as many Curbside Haiku poetry submissions as last year,” said Morgan Phillips, Downtown Tulsa Partnership’s Director of Marketing & Experience. “We had poets as young as 11 years old submit a haiku. This excellent response is a clear indication that the community is both inspired by Downtown Tulsa and supports unique public art opportunities like this one.”

The 10 winning poets, who were recognized at a March 23 poetry event, are Suzanne Bruce, Matt Christensen, John David Lackey, Lori Lalli, D.L. Lang, Bill McCloud, Robert Pierce, Tricia Price, Shonday Randall and Lawrence Wilson. All poetry submissions can be found at

For more on Downtown Tulsa programs and initiatives, visit