The Poems in Place project is seeking poems written by Alaskan writers to be considered for placement in two Alaska State Parks: Aleknagik State Recreation Site/Wood Tikchik State Park, near Dillingham, and Independence Mine State Historical Park, near Palmer. The project seeks original poems submitted by Alaskan writers as well as poems written by Alaskan poets (living or dead) and nominated by readers. The submission period begins Jan. 15 and continues through March 15 and is free.
Poems in Place is a collaboration between the Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska State Parks, a committee of poets and writers and the residents of Alaska. Through the project, poems written by an Alaskan writer will be installed on permanent signage in each of the seven regions of the Alaska State Parks system in the coming years. The first four poems were installed last September; two in Totem Bight State Historical Park in Ketchikan and in two Chena River State Recreational Area above Fairbanks. Poems installed at Totem Bight were written by two Juneau poets, Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall, both professors at the University of Alaska Southeast.
The idea for Poems in Place, fostered by Wendy Erd, grew naturally from a poem, “What Whales and Infants Know,” by Kim Cornwall, that was installed at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park in May 2011.
To see examples of current Poems in Place signs, visit the Alaska State Parks website: dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/poemplace.htm
The project is supported by the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Usibelli Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Poetry League, Alaska Center for the Book and numerous individuals.
To find out more, visit www.alaskacenterforthebook.org.