Criticism Arises as City Refuses to Display Controversial Poem

Image Credit: Kenneth Pederson

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — A decision by the city of Minneapolis to not include a sexually explicit poem in an art formation on Nicollet Avenue in Downtown is being met with severe criticism.

The Poem titled “A Prayer for Pussies” by Junauda Petrus was originally slated to join several other poems in art formations on the newly reconstructed Nicollet Mall in Downtown. However, due to the explicit nature of the poem, the city chose to not include it.

According to City Pages, Mary Altman, the director of public art explained:

“While this poem submitted by Junauda Petrus for the project was strong and thought provoking, it didn’t meet our guidelines for the project.”

In a TC Daily Planet post, Petrus described her poem as a “love letter to the city” and a rejection of the political climate in wake of a Donald Trump presidency.

Minneapolis Councilwoman Alondra Cano expressed her anger and disappointment in the City’s decision to not display the poem on Downtown’s most recognized street.

In a Facebook Post, Cano writes:

“Junauda Petrus has been named Artist of the Year and her work in the artistic community is as expansive as the sky. She has partnered with key and iconic Minneapolis institutions such as In the Heart of Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and serves as a radiant and furious source of healing energy and strength for the many communities who are feeling assaulted by a Trump agenda. Junauda has gone public with what she perceives to be censorship and we should support her.”

The statement by Cano can be viewed in its entirety below.

Petrus was named Artist of the Year by City Pages. Her poem uses language that could be considered crass or vulgar to many individuals, including those with young children.

Construction on Nicollet Mall is scheduled to be complete in Fall.



Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.