Home / The poet Anna Greta Wide Will Be This Year’s Manhole Cover Poet
12 November 2020
Anna Greta Wide

– By using a previously unused space for art, we take poetry to places where it otherwise rarely is, which contributes to a more lust-filled city. The initiative also sheds light on our hidden but important underground infrastructure for water, sewage and rainwater. This is what Jens Thoms Ivarsson, Creative Director, says, who together with Magnus Mott, project manager for Rain Gothenburg, is responsible for the project Manhole Cover Poet of the Year.

The unveiling of Anna Greta Wide’s poem in a 63 kilo well cover will take place during the poetry fair at Stadsbiblioteket on December 4, the same day as Anna Greta Wide would have turned 100 years old.

A Suitcase Filled With Manuscripts

Anna Greta Wide was one of the most read young poets in the 1940s, but has until this year been more or less forgotten. A bag with material left behind has hidden a literary treasure for more than half a century. Now, 100 years after Wide’s birth, her collected poetry has been published by Norstedts förlag.

Anna Greta Wide was born in 1920 and died in 1965. Six collections of poems, a few poems in newspapers and magazines, a couple of hymns – and a professional life as a teacher.

In 2018, the Wide family donated a suitcase full of manuscripts, letters and photographs to the University of Gothenburg’s library.

The Second Time a Manhole Cover Poet is selected

This year’s Manhole Cover Poet is the second one and was selected by a jury with representatives from Gothenburg City Library, Författarcentrum Väst, Göteborgs litteraturhus and Rain Gothenburg. The selection process itself took an unexpected turn where the requirement that it should be a now living poet was temporarily waived. Last year, Lina Ekdal was selected, whose poem Fakta is now available on manhole covers around the city.

Manhole cover poetry is a project within Rain Gothenburg, one of the city’s initiatives ahead of Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary.

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