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Urban Night by Seth Shearer incorporates poetry by Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell.

On Wednesday at dinner at the Norman Mailer House, we were discussing the nature of being a poet, the nature of writing poetry, and poetry’s place in society right now. And while it seems that the “only” outlet available for poetry is to have it published and perform readings, I disagree.

In many ways, the modern poet is at a great advantage: there are so many places for his work to become part of the every day lives of others, because poetry can be anywhere. For example, at The Annabel Lee Tavern in Baltimore, Poe’s poetry is painted on the walls. In the film Telefon, Frost’s “Stopping By Woods” is integral to the plot. I own a scarf silkscreened with Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. I could go on, and I’m sure you could come up with a few examples as well.

That said, today’s world offers many opportunities for poets to have their work in more than just books. When I returned from the dinner, there was an e-mail from my friend and poet Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell, with whom I went to Burlington College. Her poetry has been incorporated into a design for home furnishings by designer Seth Shearer (who also happens to be her brother). He’s entered the tx:style Design Challenge, and all of us have a chance to go vote for his design—URBAN NIGHT—and make it a winner!

If he wins, Mannington Commercial will make a full product line using his pattern. If you believe in poetry in every day life, find five minutes of your time to head on over, make an account, and vote for this great design. A single account can vote up to ten times. Information on how to vote and the design itself is below.

Vote NOW at

From the tx-style website:

Urban Night

DESIGNER: Seth Shearer

This design is inspired by urban life and the urban artist. In my process I drew from urban architecture, street art, wild postings, and graffiti. The concept of this piece draws from the collective unconscious of the global community or global city if you will. Working with poet Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell, this piece has integrated both poetry and design as an abstract representation of community inspired art; a place where visuals and language combine to create a variety of sensations and ideas. As a designer, I used her poetry both as type to create texture and her hand drawn notes as an organic element quoting urban graffiti and stenciled street art. The focus of this design is to integrate the outside world with the inside environment, so that creativity may abound in office, home, or retreat. This piece serves as a reminder of the fount of art outside of our windows. View inspiration board for design options.

Seth Shearer is a designer in San Francisco, CA.

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