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>  Crowd-hitch a ride to explore America's new frontiers

Visual Poetry Project

Track: Makers
Region: Northeast

Transform the best American poems into street art across the country, photograph the result, and share those images online.

$5,418 Raised out of $5,000
76 Supporters
-501 Days Remaining

What is your project?

My project will translate the Poetry Foundation’s mission—“to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience”—into millennial terms by transforming the best American poems into street art, documenting the result, and sharing those images online. 

Ten years ago, the heiress to the Lilly pharmaceutical fortune donated $100 million to Poetry magazine, the oldest continuously running magazine dedicated to verse in the English language. The gift sparked a revolution in American poetry, enabling the magazine to establish the Poetry Foundation, whose mission is to “discover and elebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.” 

During the same decade, the internet’s rapid growth has allowed us to share things that make us laugh and things that give us purpose. Publishing companies have adopted more visual models of relaying content and start-ups like Upworthy have succeeded in harnessing images’ viral potential to broadcast ideas that matter

I believe poetry matters. I believe poetry is something anyone can love, and everyone should see. I believe that poetry can be part of millennial life, but only if it enters the millennial bloodstream. I think powerful images can help. Already, there is a tradition of marrying poetry with visual art: artist Jenny Holzer has collaborated with poets Henri Cole, Wislawa Szymborska, and others to project poems onto architecture in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. A Berlin-based group launched a $5,000 crowd-funding campaign to publish a book of poet-artist Robert Montgomery’s visual poems, and raised five times their goal.


What is your perception of the future, and how does your project respond to that perception?



How will you use your time in each city to advance your project?


What is your project designed to accomplish?

My project will unite the printed word and photography to create powerful images that bring American poetry into the bloodstream of millennial culture.

Ultimately, the project is designed to create compelling visual poetry and corresponding digital images that encourage social media sharing.


How do you plan to share the outcome of your project and the impact of your MTP experience with others?

Sharing my project’s results—and sharing the MTP experience with others—is designed into the structure of the project.   

The project has two organizing principles: Creation and Broadcast

Creation happens on the ground, in ten cities across the country. It’s where the words and the lens meet, and art is born. It’s where the right words in the right order are introduced into the daily life of a city via pop-up installations.

Broadcast happens online. Photos of the collaborations will be featured on social media with the goal of reaching the widest possible audience.


  1. Stage poem-centered photo shoots in each city. Curate the best photos and publish them here: cameronhardesty.com;
  2. Share the final project far and wide online---Facebook, Reddit, Flickr, Twitter, etc.


  1. Share powerful images via a dedicated Tumblr and promote via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram and other outlets.

  2. Create an online magazine of the most successful collaborations.


Cameron Hardesty

About Cameron Hardesty

Cameron Hardesty is an English major with an entrepreneurial spirit. She is combining her love of poetry with her professional experience in digital public affairs to bring poems back into the millennial bloodstream. Currently, she serves as the digital director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

June 19, 2013 - Thank you! Final push.


When I began this campaign, I had no idea what would happen. 

I've been floored by the support of friends, family, colleagues, fellow writers and amazing backers whom I haven't (yet) met. 


The Visual Poetry Project is 91.8% funded, and there are 11 days left to raise $400 to ensure I have a spot on the train. I can't wait to give you the final update on July 1st!