A Fredericton poetry challenge

Category: community 240

Fredericton’s poet laureate Jordan Trethewey, the City of Fredericton and the Fredericton Public Library have launched a unique poetry challenge in celebration of Fredericton’s 175+ anniversary.

Fredericton’s poet laureate Jordan Trethewey pictured during his weekly Thursday night residency at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

Postal codes are easy to forget. But thanks to a new project launched in conjunction with Fredericton’s 175+ anniversary celebrations, you may find new meaning in your own tiny combination of letters and digits.

At last night’s city council meeting, Fredericton’s poet laureate Jordan Trethewey, the City of Fredericton, and the Fredericton Public Library launched Ode to Your Postal Code, a poetry challenge based on the last line of your mailing address.

Ode to Your Postal Code challenges residents to write a unique, six-line poem, paying tribute to their community by using, you guessed it, their postal code.

“Ode to Your Postal Code is meant to give Frederictonians a reason to pause with a pen and consider what aspects they enjoy about their community…large-scale, or personal,” said Trethewey. “In doing so, residents might feel a bit of the joy I get from chronicling everyday life in our capital city.”

There are three categories for submission: Kids (ages 5 to 12), Youth (ages 13 – 19), and Adult (ages 20+). The winner of each category will receive $100 of Downtown Fredericton or Business Fredericton North dollars. 

Here’s how the Challenge works.

E3A 2B8

E – letter used to begin the first line (any length)
3 – number of words in this line (three words)
A – letter used to begin this line (any length)
2 – number of words in this line (two words)
B – letter used to begin this line (any length)
8 – number of words in this line (eight words)

(Note: For zero, leave the line blank.)

Here’s an example using E3A 2B8:

Even if I didn’t live here
I would dream,
always, of walking out of a house like
this one
beside a neighbour like mine, on
a street in a town such as this.

The deadline to share your submission is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2023. The Top 10 postal code ‘Odes’ will be displayed at Fredericton Public Library during Fredericton 175+ celebrations in August. To enter, send your poem, along with your name, age and mailing address, including your postal code to: jtpoetlaureate@outlook.com. Please include ‘Ode to Your Postal Code’ in the subject line.

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