island poetry

June 27, 2020

The Town of Friday Harbor and Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC) have announced the winners of their first Poetry Garden Contest. A blind judging process was used to review 271 poems submitted by 90 San Juan County residents. Final selections were made by Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and include 20 adults and 10 students grades 3 to 12.

Winning poems will be published in a book as well as engraved for display at four outdoor poetry gardens located in Friday Harbor at the San Juan Community Theatre, the Mullis Community Senior Center, next to the post office, and at the waterfront viewing area below Downriggers. Congratulations to the poets and to Friday Harbor.

If your summer travels, such as they are, include San Juan Island, be sure to browse the newly installed poems.

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Poetry Garden photo by Rebecca Cook

haiku on Vashon

June 10, 2020

If you’re willing to venture out and about, Vashon Island’s Mukai Farm & Garden is displaying the results of their first haiku contest through the month of June. The contest judges were Lawrence Matsuda, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, and Michael Feinstein. Describing submissions as “an avalanche of creative haiku that spanned all age groups and several nations,” Mukai has put all of the entries on view at appropriate social distances. You can also view them online.

Here’s information about the Vashon ferry and social distancing aboard.

Since yesterday’s featured poem mentioned Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island, Washington), we thought we’d mention that Friday Harbor has announced the establishment of four “new poetry gardens as a way of bringing poetry — a way of seeing our world through another’s mind — into our everyday experience.” Poems for the gardens are currently being collected in a contest for San Juan County residents of all ages (deadline November 30, 2019).

According to the San Juan Islander, “Selected poems will be professionally engraved on plaques and displayed artistically in one of several gardens located in the Town of Friday Harbor for a period of two years.”

The poetry gardens will supplement Friday Harbor’s already impressive collection of more than 20 public art installations around town.

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We’ve mentioned the Seattle Center Poetry Garden before and mention it here again since there is a new exhibit in the peaceful outdoor space. In honor of Festál, which celebrates 20 years of cultural programming with a year-long series of events, artist Jennifer Szabo has entwined the garden’s trees with colored string to create a new physical and metaphorical space. The exhibit will remain on display through August 4, 2017. Szabo is one of five artists creating temporary works for the Poetry Garden between February 2017 and May 2018.

poetry garden

March 14, 2015

Bloedel-Japanese-Garden

For many years the home of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, the 150-acre, north-Bainbridge Island Bloedel Reserve is today a cultural center that hosts art exhibits, music events, workshops, lectures, poetry and, starting this year, residencies.

The personal passion of Prentice Bloedel, the gardens were designed and developed by him over the course of more than 40 years. They include natural woodlands along with a Japanese garden, moss garden, reflection pool, meadow, bird refuge, waterfall, bog boardwalk and camellia trail, among other features.

The Bloedel Reserve is open year-round, but April may be an especially fine time to visit, with several events planned for National Poetry Month. See dates and details about Poetry at Bloedel on the website and see many gorgeous photos on The Bloedel Reserve Facebook page.

DIY poetry walk!

November 12, 2014

Press-in Letters

November is the perfect time to start thinking about your spring garden. And why not, while you’re at it, create a little poetry walk of your own? The people who brought you those addictive magnetic poetry kits are now offering Press-in Letters designed specifically for impressing words into wet concrete.

Or make your own! There are plenty of instructions online about how to make garden pavers, such as this one and this one.

We want to see the results! Post your homemade poetry walk photos on the Boynton Facebook page!

poetry garden

February 27, 2014

Poetry Garden - John HogePoetry walks are one of the recurring themes of this site, but somehow we managed to overlook one that’s very close to home: the Poetry Garden at the Seattle Center. Created in 2007 by John Hoge, the garden is a quiet spot for strolling and contemplation that includes eight sculpted red granite boulders, each one etched with a contemporary or traditional poem.

cemetery marker by Kariouk Associates

Paul Kariouk is an Ottawa architect whose solution to a Pennsylvania woman’s final request is a unique and very private poetry walk. In a note to her children, she described her single wish: to have a gravesite that was a garden. Kariouk used words from that note and a phrase from the poem Prologue by Audre Lord to create this restful resting place.

The project received an Architizer A+ Award. Read the full description, see more photos and read Prologue on the Kariouk Associates website.
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Photo by Christian Lalonde | Photolux Studios
Thanks to Luther Allen for suggesting this post

poetry walk…

November 21, 2012

Ian Hamilton Finlay - The Present OrderKnown for his concrete poetry, printed works, his vast and astonishing garden near Edinburgh, Little Sparta (including The Present Order, shown left), and his chronic agoraphobia, Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) is being honored posthumously with an exhibit at Tate Britain through mid-February 2013. If you don’t make it to the Tate, perhaps you’ll be able to visit Little Sparta in another season.

Thanks to Harriet the blog for the alert.

NYBG - Monet's Garden
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the Poetry Society of America present Monet’s Garden Poetry Walk: Monet to Mallarmé, through October 21. If you’re planning to be in New York, take a stroll. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the exhibit and read the poems on the NYBG website.
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