City Unveils Second Installation of Hidden Poetry on Boston Sidewalks

Mass Poetry collaborated with the city to organize the 'Raining Poetry' public art installation.

Raining Poetry

Photo by Mass Poetry

It sounds like a Dan Brown mystery: Four poems are hidden along the sidewalks of Dorchester, Mattapan, and West Roxbury. Bostonians may only come across the verses when strolling through a rain shower or plowing through a snowstorm. But on sunny days, they stay camouflaged. But the answer is a lot more modern than a Robert Langdon adventure. Revealed only by water, the words are part of the latest installation of the city’s popular public art project “Raining Poetry 2.0.”

The Mayor’s Mural Crew partnered with the city’s Office of Arts and Culture, the Boston Arts Commission and local nonprofit group Mass Poetry for the second installment of the project. The four-man crew has now stenciled eight different locations throughout the city, including Dudley Square Cafe, The Strand Theatre, Adams Park, and Hyde Park Public Library, according to the Mayor’s Office. The first installation appeared back in May and featured work by Langston Hughes, along with three other Massachusetts poets. Now, the city’s residents can find even more secret poetry.

“Since it was first announced in May, Raining Poetry has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public who were thrilled to see more public art in their neighborhoods,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement.

The new installation, with poems in both English and Haitian Creole, showcases works by Kathi Aguero, Shauna Barbosa, Gary Duehr and Tontogi.

“I am excited we are able to add more of these creative installations in new languages to our streets in Boston, adding to our collection of public art and catching the attention of passerby’s in new and exciting ways,” Walsh said.

Bostonians don’t have to wait for rain to see the invisible poems. Grab a glass of water and check them out:

  • 1961 Centre St. in West Roxbury
  • 1520 Dorchester Ave.
  • 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester
  • 1328 Blue Hill Ave. in Mattapan