The Miami-Dade Department of Poetry Works POETRY TRAFFIC SIGN PROJECT is installing poetry traffic signs all around Miami-Dade County during this year’s O, Miami Poetry Festival in April. The signs will look exactly like real traffic signs except each one will have a poem instead of the usual No Parking, etc.
What is the Poetry Traffic Sign project all about anyway? Well there’s only one answer to that, humanity. That’s why poetry and all the arts are important. The other stuff is boom and bust. You have it. You don’t have it. Fortunes are made and lost. Gained again, or not. Times, styles and circumstances change, but one thing is constant and certain. Our need to understand each other is what “really” matters. That’s what this project is about. Little interventions to stimulate the discoverer’s sense of humanity. Tiny gestures, to be sure. Yet, so bold as to take on the challenge of making the world a better place one person at a time reading a poem on a sign.
One of the poets whose poem was selected, Annette Wells, wrote this:
“Thank you for your wonderful whimsical project. I love semiotics, so am interested to see firsthand peoples reactions to the unexpected road signs… In a time when the arts are being marginalized in schools, maybe this will capture people’s attention and they will insist that their kids get a dose or two of creative writing! At very least it will give people something interesting to think about.”