U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to Work With National Parks on Poetry Project

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As the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limón is working on two major initiatives as part of her signature project titled “You Are Here.” One part of the project will be an anthology of nature poems titled “You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World,” which will features original poems by 50 American poets. Among them will be former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Diane Seuss, and PEN/Voelcker Award-winning Rigoberto González.

The second initiative — titled ““You Are Here: Poetry in Parks” — will be a collaboration between Limón, the National Park Service, and the Poetry Society of America. It will feature poetry installations in seven national parks across the nation. The installations will transform park features like picnic tables into public art and poetry will be tailored to each specific site.

The seven national parks that will feature these poetry installations are:

  • Massachusetts’ Cape Cod National Seashore
  • Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • North Carolina’s/Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Florida’s Everglades National Park
  • Washington’s Mount Rainer National Park
  • California’s Redwood National and State Parks
  • Arizona’s Saguaro National Park

Both initiatives are meant to help better connect people with their natural environment through poetry. Limón said, “I want to champion the ways reading and writing poetry can situate us in the natural world. Never has it been more urgent to feel a sense of reciprocity with our environment, and poetry’s alchemical mix of attention, silence, and rhythm gives us a reciprocal way of experiencing nature — of communing with the natural world through breath and presence.”

In association with the Library of Congress, the poetry anthology will be published by indie publisher Milkweed Editions, and Limón will unveil each park’s poetry installation throughout the summer and fall of 2024.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.

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