Connecting to Nature Through Art and Poetry

You Are Here, Ada Limón’s signature project as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, champions the ways reading and writing poetry can situate us in the natural world.

The Poetry Society is partnering with Limón, the Library of Congress, and the National Park Service to create You Are Here: Poetry in Parks, a new initiative to place site-specific poetry installations in seven national parks across the country: Cape Cod National Seashore (Massachusetts), Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee), Everglades National Park (Florida), Mount Rainier National Park (Washington), Redwood National and State Parks (California), and Saguaro National Park (Arizona).

These installations, which will transform picnic tables into works of public art, will each feature a historic American poem that connects in a meaningful way to the park: “Can You Imagine” by Mary Oliver (Cape Cod), “Uppermost” by A. R. Ammons (Mount Rainer), “Never Alone” by Francisco X. Alarcón (Redwood), “The valley” by Jean Valentine (Cuyahoga Valley), “the earth is a living thing” by Lucille Clifton (Great Smoky), “Ecology” by June Jordan (Everglades), and “Na:nko Ma:s Cewagǐ / Cloud Song” by Ofelia Zepeda (Saguaro).

This project is for everyone, people of all ages—poets and nonpoets. The installations encourage visitors to pay deeper attention to their surroundings and prompt them to share their own responses to the natural world. What would you write in response to the landscape around you? You can share your response on social media using the hashtag #youareherepoetry.

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