Writers, poets and creatives are being invited to submit short poems for the first-ever Live Culture Coast, a sensory celebration of fermentation, creativity and exploration on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Three jury-selected poems will be painted on a series of road signs to be erected at points on the Live Culture Coast route, running 135 miles from Reedsport to Brookings.

“We want residents and travelers alike to feel the spark of joy that one of these poems can deliver,” said Live Culture Coast Creative Director Amber Peoples. “Whether you happen upon the poems while exploring or set out to find them, ‘place-based publishing’ adds an element of surprise and delight to the Live Culture Coast experience.”

Up to 10 additional poems will be published via Live Culture Coast outlets such as the event guide, website and social media.

The poems must follow the Burma Shave format: five lines of one to four words each. Lines two and five must rhyme. The poems should capture the spirit and experience of Live Culture Coast and the Southern Oregon Coast. Poets may explore themes of fermentation and effervescence, coast communities and human possibilities, natural wonder and the experience of place.

Writers can submit up to three entries that reflect the ethos of Live Culture Coast and Oregon’s South Coast, with the following themes suggested: ferment, forage, brew, bake, pedal, paddle, wander, wonder, forest, river, tide, sea, science, art and community.

To submit poems, go to http://bit.ly/placebasedpoetry. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Aug. 2.

Live Culture Coast is a 10-day celebration offering a rich menu of more than 60 experiences hosted entirely by the makers, creators and entrepreneurs of the Southern Oregon Coast. Participants can forage for mushrooms with a farmer; learn about fermentation, cask ales and aromatic bitters; ride a fat-tire bike on the beach at low tide; hike with all five senses; or indulge in a lake-to-table meal. Live Culture Coast is hands-on, experiential and designed to pique curiosity.

The festival aims to gives participants a deeper travel experience — one that delivers a personal connection to the people, places and communities of the Southern Oregon Coast.

“The Southern Oregon Coast is an incredibly rich place, full of natural beauty and possibilities,” said Marcus Hinz, executive director of the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, a primary sponsor of Live Culture Coast. “There are four Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail, the Oregon Coast Trail, the new Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trail, and countless natural places. And yet, because it’s a little farther afield, the Southern Oregon Coast is the least-visited area of the coast. Live Culture Coast gives people many reasons to go and totally unique ways to experience it.”

Giving people opportunities to experience and create art is an important part of Live Culture Coast. Not only are the arts an expression of the human spirit, but arts and culture can have positive impacts on the tourist experience and contribute to economic vitality. Visitors to the Southern Oregon Coast spent $58.3 million on arts, culture, and recreation in 2018, up from $51.1 million in 2008, according to a statewide tourism report released in March.

“Art, fermentation, nature, science and people all share a sense of energetic possibility,” Peoples said. “What happens when different people, ecosystems, microbes, ideas, and stories come together? Live Culture Coast invites all people to come, to stay curious and to find out.”

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