Submissions must be delivered to the library at 7050 S. 24th St. by 9 p.m. Monday, April 30.
Edited by Alberto Alvaro Ríos, the poem will be recorded as part of an art installation on the South Mountain Community College campus, connected to the library. Contributors, whose work is selected, will be permanently acknowledged in the recording, on a bookmark of the poem printed for the library's first anniversary in September and in signage in the library.
"What we will do is to write a poem together, finding a way of standing shoulder-to-shoulder in words, a way of connecting ourselves to ourselves and, by extension, to everyone who hears or reads the words that come out of this effort," Ríos explained. Ríos is a regents' professor at Arizona State University, where he has taught since 1982 and where he holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner endowed chair in English.
The new 50,000-square-foot library is a joint project of Phoenix Public Library and South Mountain Community College. It opened to the public last fall.
A multi-faceted public artwork, "Passage" by Mags Harries & Lajos Héder, begins with steel letters embedded in concrete in the plaza in front of the library and continues to a shaded pathway that connects the library to the proposed Western Canal Bridge, providing a pedestrian link to the Legacy Village Shopping Center. Speakers set in acoustic chairs in the plaza playrecordings of poetry curated by Ríos that reflect the community and local landscape. Four trellises spanning the path between the library and canal feature cut-out letters that cast poems in shadows along the path. The public art project is funded by city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Percent for Art program and the Maricopa County Community College District Bond Program.
South Mountain Community College is one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.
For more information about contributing to the community poem, call 602-262-4636 or visit smclibrary.org. Phoenix Public Library is a system of 16 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/phxlibrary and "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/phoenixpubliclibrary.