MANASSAS, Va. – Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writer’s Club, is pleased to announce the launch of an area-wide poetry installation entitled “Poems Around Town.” The brainchild of WbtR vice president Jan Rayl, the arts initiative is meant to encourage residents and visitors to “stop and read a piece of literary art they might not otherwise even glance at, something short that will get them thinking in a different way.”
“It works very simply," said WbtR President Katherine Gotthardt. "We create and print a design with a member’s poem on standard size paper. Each poem is put in a clear stand or frame for placement wherever the hosting organization would like. The more visible, the better. Then we promote the location.”
Gotthardt said the poems are family-friendly and work to promote the participating businesses.
“There is no cost to the location owner, and we will advertise on social media, on websites and in local publications where people can find these exhibits once they are installed. Promotion of the hosting organization will remain active as long as the installation remains visible there.”
Twenty-one locations in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park are already participating, including Manassas City Hall, Manassas Park City Hall, Manassas Park Community Center and Occoquan Town Hall. Myriad businesses from art galleries to restaurants to a tattoo parlor have signed on as location hosts. Gotthardt, a Bristow resident, said she would like to see 50 locations become installation hosts, including more from western Prince William County and Manassas Park.
Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, aims to raise the profile of the local literary community and explore ways to nurture, cultivate and help that community grow. WbtR also strives to be an integral part of the larger arts community and to enhance the quality of life for area residents by providing them with the opportunity to participate in events and activities that promote literacy and self-expression. Writers (published or unpublished) affiliated with Manassas, Manassas Park or Prince William County are encouraged to join.