Poems in Place seeks poems for state parks

The Poems in Place Project, a collaboration of Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book and a steering committee of Alaska writers and poets, has issued a call for poems celebrating the natural beauty of Alaska’s state parks. 

Poems will be gathered for the Aleknagik State Recreation Site/Wood Tikchik State Park near Dillingham and Independence Mine State Historical Park near Palmer.

Alaskans are invited to submit up to three poems each, either written in response to the solicitation or poems previously written by an Alaska poet. The deadline for submissions is March 15. The goal of the Poems in Place Project is to install poems on permanent signs in state parks throughout Alaska. 

The first poetry installation in this series, “What Whales and Infants Know,” by Kim Cornwall, was put up at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park, with support from Homer writer Wendy Erd, Alaska State Parks and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

Last year, poems by Alaska writers Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall were installed at Totem Bight State Historical Park near Ketchikan and poems by Frank Soos and the late John Haines were installed at Chena River State Recreation Area near Fairbanks.

For submission rules, visit www.alaskacenterforthebook.org/id112.html. To see examples of current Poems in Place signs, visit the Alaska State Parks website: dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/poemplace.htm