Julia Kim Smith

concrete poetry 1

Created for Homing Instinct, celebrating 10 years of Earl’s Place arts, Concrete Poetry 1 is an outdoor art installation of 19 free-standing cast concrete letters spelling out “HOMELESS NOT HOPELESS” placed on a porcelain tile base. 19 additional concrete letters are stacked to form a cairn behind the standing letters.

Deinstalled for maintenance
Concrete Poetry 2 opening spring 2024, The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore, MD

Concrete Poetry 1 posits that homelessness does not define a person; it is a state that one experiences. The cast concrete letters read “HOMELESS NOT HOPELESS” and can be moved and built upon. Concrete was chosen as a medium for its durability and because it alludes to construction and foundations.

Concrete Poetry 1 is set in Clarendon, a slab serif with a bold, sturdy structure. It was created by Robert Besley for Fann—later Thorowgood and Co.—type founders (U.K.) in 1845 and exists today in modern iterations. Haas Clarendon was introduced as the U.S. National Park Service standard by Chermayeff and Geismar in 1975 and was in use on park signage until 2000.