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First Friday Spotlight: Poetry Extravaganza covers the streets for Chalk Walk

Come early to help "Chalk the Walk" with poetry.
Come early to help "Chalk the Walk" with poetry.
Flier courtesy of Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular.

Welcome, Summer! And what better time than to head out exploring all the gallery hops and art walks that seem to abound on First Fridays (not to mention, those accompanied by poetry readings)?

For July, the theme of Canton’s First Friday celebration is “Chalk the Walk”. In addition to the open galleries and musicians normally found at Canton’s First Friday, 29 local artists will be creating chalk murals on 4th St. NW and Cleveland Ave. in Canton. And of course, the Poetry Extravaganza (open mic and competition) that takes place at 2nd April Galerie will also be participating.

Vertigo Xi’an Xavier, who now hosts the First Friday reading in addition to the Poet’s Haven PodCast recordings, is still recruiting members for what he’s been calling “a literal street team”. He’s looking for poets to help chalk the sidewalks with poetry on the afternoon of July 2 to spread some poetry among the masses, as well as bring folks down to the Kathleen Howland Theater in the basement of 2nd April for the poetry competition that evening.

Vertigo has also changed the format of Canton’s First Friday reading slightly, with the help of sponsorship from, a news site devoted to news written by and for local youth.

The readings now open with a half-hour featured spot—this month will feature Steve Goldberg of Lit Café fame—followed by open mic, and finally, the slam, offering cash prizes for first, second, and third places sponsored by Arts in Stark.

Vertigo is still looking for street team help, as well as short, original poems to use. If you might be interested, you can contact him through Facebook at the Canton Poetry Street Team Page.

WHAT: Canton’s First Friday Poetry Extravaganza. Cash prizes for slam winners.
WHEN: Every first Friday, features begin at 7pm
WHERE: Kathleen Howland Theater, in the basement of 2nd April Galerie, 324 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton


  • Vertigo Xavier 5 years ago

    Thanks! One minor correction, though. Poems don't have to be original for the sidewalks. I'd like to see a vast selection of work from local authors or poets who found out about this online, but folks can contribute short poems from "major" sources as well. I'm pulling material from the vast collection of poetry that I've published on over the last 13 years. If someone wants to throw some Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost into the mix, that will be awesome as well. :-)

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