A Story of the City


Estimated delivery between June 18 and June 20.

By Ed Madden, 2023, paperback

A Story of the City: Poems Occasional and Otherwise

When Ed Madden was named poet laureate for the City of Columbia, South Carolina, in 2015, he became the first city laureate in the state of South Carolina. During his two terms as city laureate, Madden documented the life and history of the city. He engaged the community by making poetry a public art, posting poems on city buses, sidewalks, movie screens, coffee sleeves, restaurant menus, and faux parking tickets distributed in downtown Columbia one bright and sunny April Fool's Day. While these poems are about a specific city, they ring true for almost any Southern city-maybe any city in America-with its ceremonial occasions and its natural disasters, its misleading public monuments and its protest marches, and its inevitably complex histories. His post officially began with a commemoration of the historic burning of Columbia during the American Civil War and ended with the selection of a new city flag. This collection spans either years of ceremony and controversy, an eclipse and a pandemic, welcomes and elegies, history and hope.