The next time you stroll along the Corvallis downtown waterfront, be sure to take a peek at the Madison Street side of the Great Harvest Bread building – you’ll be treated to local poetry.

The History of the Poetry Marquee

In 1998, Linda Modrell, then a Benton County Commissioner, was presented with the sign of the defunct Midway Theater (formerly located on Hwy 20). Modrell wanted the sign preserved and enjoyed by the public. David Livingston of Endex Engineering generously volunteered to restore and hang the sign on an Endex-owned building, on the corner of First and Madison Avenues.

Once the sign was in place, David Livingston approached The Arts Center about filling the sign with artwork. Hester Coucke, The Arts Center’s Curator, suggested that poetry would be an art form true to the original purpose of the sign: a means for displaying words. The Arts Center formed a committee to select the poems, and Endex Engineering continues to provide volunteer help in hanging the new poems periodically.

Send in Your Poetry for Consideration!

  • Poems should be a maximum of 6 lines long
  • Poems can be of any style but they should be appropriate for all audiences
  • Poets of any age can submit
  • Poets must reside in Linn or Benton County
  • Email submissions are preferred, but hard copies are accepted (though they will not be returned)
  • Submissions are reviewed all year long, please limit to three poems max.
  • Poets can only be on the marquee ONCE per calendar year.

Email poetry submissions to  “Poetry Marquee Submissions.” 

Visit the Poetry Marquee in person! 

Go to Great Harvest Bread at 134 Southwest 1st Street, Corvallis, OR — the sign is hung on the South side of the building. Locate on Google Maps.


Winter Dusk, Diamond Lake

That elegant nymph, the new moon,
lounges against a volcanic peak.
Snow blown across ice.
In other seasons, I forget lakes keep secrets.
Silence is the mother of
a raven is the father of silence.
Marjorie Power


Autumn Leaves

Make the autumn leaves fall
Jump in them, jump in them
until the snowy owls call
My mom says it’s time to go to bed.
But I lay awake in the dark
with pictures of leaves and rain in my head.

1st Place Winner, Youth Poetry Contest 2010