Your ZIP code is more than just your address— it’s part of your identity.
The Toledo City Paper has made an effort to express that point since 2016, when we joined The Fair Housing Center, The Arts Commission, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and (new this year!) Toledo Area Parent in asking Toledoans to submit short poems inspired by their ZIP code— with the number of words in each line of the poem determined by the corresponding digit in their ZIP code.
Over the past five years, we’ve seen how much your home, neighborhood and the people around you impact your day-to-day life. Now, during a time when place means more than anything, this annual Ode to the ZIP Code poetry contest has taken on a special meaning, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the diverse voices of Toledoans.
For a selection of those top-scoring poems, which were evaluated by a panel of judges including Jim Ferris, Sandra Rivers-Gill, and Haley Taylor, visit the links below:
Category 1: Youth (Ages 11 and younger)
Category 2: Youth (Ages 12-17)
Category 3: Adult (Ages 18 and older)
JOIN US ON FRIDAY, MAY 22
Please join us for our Ode to the ZIP Code celebration, held virtually through Facebook Live on Friday, May 22 at 6pm. We will reveal top poems, feature winners reading their poems, and premiere a video produced by BCAN recapping this year’s contest.