Wingo-WHAT? Germantown Poetry and Water Workshops

What is your water memory — what has water done for you, to you, or your community?

...Your responses to these thoughts could shape an upcoming community poem around water, transformation, and healing in Germantown.

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is collaborating with 2020-2021 Philadelphia Poet Laureate, Trapeta B. Mayson, to curate “Wingo-WHAT?” — an artistic intervention designed to shed light on Germantown waterway concerns through poetry, education, and flooding resources. (Wingo-WHAT = Water • History • Arts Activation • Transformation)

During this creative journey, Ms. Mayson will guide Germantown community members through several poetry workshops, inspiring individuals to compose their own verses which will be woven into a larger culminating project.

In the upcoming weeks, poetry workshops will take place at the following:

In-Person* Workshop Dates:

  • Sunday August 15, 2021  •  2pm–3:15pm
    The Farm at Awbury Arboretum
    6336 Ardleigh St, Philadelphia, PA 19138
  • Thursday, September 2 9, 2021  •  6pm–7:30pm
    Intersection of Crittenden St. & Haines St
    (Featuring music by Monnette Sudler and Karen Smith!)
    The Sept 2nd event has been rescheduled for Sept 9th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 at the Intersection of Crittenden St. & Haines St.  
    (For the Sept 9th event, please bring your own lawn chair!)
  • Sunday, September 12, 2021  •  2pm–3:15pm
    The Farm at Awbury Arboretum
    6336 Ardleigh St, Philadelphia, PA 19138
  • Friday, September 17, 2021  •  3:30pm–4:30pm
    Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library
    68 W Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
    (Featuring music by Monnette Sudler and Karen Smith!)

* We will follow all local COVID-19 guidance at in-person events.

During these events, you will:

  • Contribute to a community poem
  • Share your experience with local flooding
  • Participate in artist-led creative writing sessions
  • Learn about Germantown’s historic waterways
  • Receive flooding resources

Want to participate in a workshop?


About this Project

Germantown has a rich water history, including extinct creeks, such as the Wingohocking (The 'Wingo' in Wingo-WHAT), that once flowed through the community before transforming into massive sewers.

During heavy rainstorms today, these underground sewers carrying stormwater along the path of the old Wingohocking sometimes become overwhelmed, forcing water above ground and causing flooding in Germantown. A projected impact of climate change could mean even more frequent flooding events in the future.

Using the power of poetry, this community arts process will create a hyper-local healing space for those directly impacted by flooding. The intervention will equip Germantown residents with flooding preparedness knowledge — all through shared experiences and collective storytelling.

This special project is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Water Alliance.

The USWA’s Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator is supported by US Water Alliance staff and the One Water Artist-in-Residence. As a pilot member of the One Water event, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is tasked with addressing a climate-related water challenge through the integration of arts and culture alongside Central Arkansas Water, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Tucson Water.

Are you a Germantown resident or community member?

Have you been impacted by flooding and/or climate change?
Share your experience with us!