Richmond poetry project aims to build connections to city, community

Richmond residents are being asked to see their city with fresh eyes and mold those observations into poetry.

“Poetry of Place,” a pilot project initiated by Richmond Multicultural Community Services (RMCS), aims to help individuals connect with their geographic reality as a means of bringing together the community as a whole.

Parm Grewal, the executive director at RMCS, said this is an all-inclusive project, and she welcomes all demographics.

“We don’t want to eliminate anyone’s chance on their participation. We will be translating submitted poems if they are in a different language,” Grewal said.

Participants are encouraged to use their five senses, as well as distinct adjectives and metaphors to describe a geographic feature of Richmond in a 20-line poem.

RMSC said the goal is to create a visual map of Richmond participants’ whereabouts, to build a stronger network of community involvement, embracing openness and inclusion.

This is also an opportunity to develop upcoming literary talent in the community, according to the former program coordinator at RMCS, Alan Hill.

Grewal said RMCS has been taking this program into various classrooms, community centres and libraries to build a sense of belonging in Richmond. 

“We want to see how people are seeing and experiencing things differently when we all live in the same space,” Grewal said.

Submissions will be published on RMCS’s social media, but the association is still looking for donations that would enable it to publish a print version of the anthology.  

Since this is the first time RMCS has tried the poetry program, Grewal said she hopes they will receive about a hundred submissions.

RMCS will accept submitted poems until the end of January 2020.

© Richmond News

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