Kick-off for poetry mural featuring poem by Roger Reeves

Thursday, August 23
Douglas Park
Corner of California & Ogden
5-7 PM

Join us for the kick-off of Word Play Way in Douglas Park North Lawndale!

The David L. Hoyt Education Foundation, in collaboration with the Chicago Poetry Center, is installing a site-specific public art project, Word Play Way, that encourages users to learn about the power of poetry through play. The giant-sized word search will be painted on the sidewalk using stenciled letters that form words, which then create a poem. Designed by Jumble ® author David L. Hoyt, Word Play Way will cover a footpath within a children’s park at Douglas Park, near the corner of California and Ogden, in North Lawndale and will be maintained through Summer 2021.

For the second edition of Word Play Way a site-specific poem has been written by former North Lawndale resident and esteemed poet, Roger Reeves, to be incorporated into the interactive word search. “Children Listen,” is a powerful work that will be colorfully painted so that it is easy to find and follow within the word search. In addition to Reeves’ poem, the letter grid will be comprised of nearly 3,000 letters, forming words that are child-friendly and tie back to the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Hear from our guest speakers, local poets, join in our games, activities and interact with the Word Play Way!


Melissa Castro Almandina

Melissa Castro Almandina is a Xicana poet and artist from the Southwest Side of Chicago. She is a member of Brown and Proud Press, a zine collective that serves as a platform for healing in POC communities and is a resident artist at AMFM Gallery. She facilitates poetry workshops on the Southwest Side of Chicago and debuted her hand bound zine of poetry entitled, Rose Quartz and Serpentine. She was a featured author at Pilsen Fest and is published in the Garland Court Review, Cuentos de Gringolandia, and Hooligan Magazine.

Dominique Chestand

Dominique Chestand is a jack of all trades and master of few. She is a Theater and Drama graduate of The Chicago Academy for the Arts and holder of a BA in Theatre and Communication Arts from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus in film. As a self-proclaimed multimedia artist that has been trained in theater, dance, music, film, painting, photography, etc., there is truly no limit to her expression. This diverse practice allows her to blend her artistry to create dynamic, meaningful bodies of work to explore the experiences of black, queer, woman-identified and otherwise marginalized bodies. Of all her skills, language– specifically, poetry– is the most familiar medium used to convey these truths.

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“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.