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Poems sought that celebrate Southwest Alaska, Mat-Su state parks


(Anchorage, AK) – The Poems in Place Project, a collaboration of Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book, and a steering committee of Alaskan writers and poets, this week issued its second public call for poems celebrating the natural beauty of Alaska’s state parks.

Over a three-month period, the Poems in Place Project will gather poems celebrating 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 poems written in response to the solicitation or poems previously written by an Alaskan 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 – the poem “What Whales and Infants Know,” by Kim Cornwall – occurred in 2011 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.  In September 2013, poems by Alaskan 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.

“Poetry that celebrates Alaska’s natural environment offers Alaskans and visitors a powerful connection to our landscape and culture,” said Claire LeClair, deputy director of Alaska State Parks.

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

The Poems in Place project is supported by Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Usibelli Foundation, the Alaska Poetry League, Alaska Center for the Book, and numerous generous individuals.

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