Pitman Poetry on Parade: Duo brings new celebration to borough

The borough’s community may see a different kind of parade next month as they visit the stores uptown.

To celebrate National Poetry Month two Pitman residents have decided to bring Pitman Poems on Parade to the borough. Pitman Poems on Parade is a multi-week event that will display original poems written by Pitman residents, and anyone who’s interested, in store fronts along Broadway.

“We read an article about Poem City and we were inspired to do something locally,” said Lynne Nelson, one of the coordinators of the event. Nelson has been working with Irene Donnelly, a librarian at Pitman Middle School, since the fall to bring the event to the town. “As you walk down Broadway you’ll see them in the windows. Some will be on Pitman Avenue and Holly Avenue,” Nelson said. Nelson said 55 stores have agreed to hang the posters in their windows. “The poems will be on posters with the logos so you can tell which windows will have the poems on display,” Nelson said.

The poems will also be listed on the event’s website to notify visitors which windows the poems will be posted on. Nelson said since the event will be during the spring, she hopes more people will visit the uptown area and will stop to enjoy the poetry. The duo came up with event’s name after thinking of the borough’s 4th of July parade. “It’s the same route the parade takes,” Nelson said. Nelson and Donnelly have been getting various members of the community involved by reaching out to the Pitman Manor, the principals in each of the schools, the mayor and council as well as the police department. “They were very excited about it, they were really receptive,” Nelson said. Along with the poems going into the store windows, each of the schools will have a miniature parade inside the schools. “The poems will be on display in the hallways, and then some will be selected to go downtown,” Nelson said. “The Pitman Manor is going to do the same thing and will display the poems in the lobby.” Students in Pitman High School’s honor society will have a special role in the event, Nelson said. “They’re going to be dressed as penguins and they’re going to waddle down the street and get some buzz going [during 4th Friday],” Nelson said. Nelson said penguins played a role in the event because when the penguins travel they often line up in a row, just like a parade. At the end of the event, the poems will be placed in a binder in the library for those who wish to read the poems again.

For those who wish to read the guidelines for the event, or wish to submit a poem, can visit http://pitmanpoemsonparade.weebly.com. “We hope this becomes an annual event,” Nelson said.

Submissions are due by April 1, and will be in the stores from April 11 – 30.

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