Posts Tagged ‘poetry of the wild’

I was in New Shoreham in the spring, stopping at the bagel place, and Suzanne pointed out that on a patio table there was a little birdhouse where people were encouraged to contribute a poem to a small notebook. I added a haiku and a jingle I wrote decades ago.

Two days later, it hit me. I had participated in Poetry of the Wild, and I had written about it already here.

Rhode Island Monthly had a bit more on the subject.

Poetry Project founder and former RI poet laureate Lisa Starr told reporter Casey Nilsson about the April weekend when Poetry of the Wild was to be launched. “We’re finding ways to expose people to things that they might not be exposed to, to broaden the horizon while working on creative projects.

“One of the English teachers, Nancy Greenaway, started a project, Favorite Poems: Voices from the Village. She finds members of the community who have never come to a Poetry Project — like the guy who runs the deli or the music teacher — and asks them to choose their favorite poem … Nobody knows who they are until the day of the event.”

Starr also describes the new addition to the Poetry Project weekend, Poetry of the Wild: “a public art installation featuring boxes made by members of the community that contain a particular poem. The poems are meant to enhance whatever setting they’re in.

“The tech ed teacher at the Block Island School, Mark Mollicone, and the art teacher, Lisa Robb, [were eager to help.] They worked with the entire seventh and eighth grade class. Each student either made their own box or partnered with somebody. The kindergarten class made their own box and the first graders worked with a local bookshop owner on a box, too.”

The boxes were ultimately placed around the island. And I saw a birdhouse-like box outside the bagel shop.

More here.

Photo: Rhode Island Monthly
Carrying a box for a poem past Harbor Baptist Church, New Shoreham.

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I have mentioned the Block Island Poetry Project in past years, and I wanted to let you know that I just got the scoop on this year’s theme.

Nancy writes, “The Block Island Poetry Project weekend will be April 16-19 and will focus on Poetry of the Wild, a project of Ana Flores, who visited just a few days ago to show us examples of what she’s been doing around the country for the last twelve years. … I’m in the process of developing my Poetry of the Wild poetry box project for the school.”

The Poetry of the Wild website explains, “Poetry of the Wild invites the public out for a walk to see their world anew through the keenly felt perspectives of poets and artists. Using a unique presentation of ‘poetry boxes’ that combine art and poetry, the project serves as a catalyst for exploring our towns and considering how place informs mindfulness. The public becomes engaged by finding the boxes which are sited as a network on mapped trails, reading the poems, and responding in the public journals contained in each.

“The sculptor Ana Flores created Poetry of the Wild in 2003 while she was the first artist in residence for the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association in Southern Rhode Island. Her mission was to use the arts to foster public awareness and stewardship of the land and waterways protected by the Association. That first project had a dozen boxes created by students from area schools, members of the environmental group and other artists. The public response was overwhelming during its three month tenure. It turned out that many people roaming the trails were poetic– but they had had no place to express themselves. Journals were replaced three times and the trails leading to boxes also became less littered.”

For more about Ana’s work, see earthinform.com. And for more about the Block Island Poetry Project (founded by 2008-2013 Rhode Island poet laureate Lisa Starr), click here.

Ana Flores

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