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Poetry Reading in Palmer to Highlight Poems in Place

(Anchorage, AK) – The public is invited to a poetry reading at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, at Alaskana Books in Palmer.  The reading will highlight the upcoming 2014 Poems in Place program, which will select and install poems by Alaskan writers at two state parks:  Independence Mine State Historical Park and the Alegnagik State Recreation Site.  

Poems in Place  is a collaborative project involving Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book and a steering committee of poets and writers to install poems by Alaska poets in state parks. In December, the project will begin accepting nominations of poems to be installed at the Independence Mine and Alegnagik park units.

During the Nov. 17 poetry reading, Alaska poets Anne Coray, Gretchen Diemer, Julie LeMay and David Cheezem will read original work and spend time in conversation with attendees. The event is free and open to the public. Alaskana Books is located at 564 South Denali Street in Palmer.

Information about how to nominate poems for the 2014 program will be available following the reading and distributed through public announcements starting in December. Alaskans will be invited to nominate up to three poems each, and the poems should resonate with either the Independence Mine State Historical Park or the Alegnagik State Recreation Site. The public may nominate either poems written in response to the project invitation or poems previously written by Alaskan poets, living or dead.  A committee will select poems for the installations, which will be dedicated at the two parks in September 2014. An honorarium of $100 will be paid for selected poems.

The Poems in Place project began in 2011 with a successful collaboration between Homer writer Wendy Erd, state park staff and the Alaska State Council on the Arts to place the poem What Whales and Infants Know, by Kim Cornwall, at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park. In 2013, poems by 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 the Chena River State Recreation Area north of Fairbanks. 

Poems in Place is supported by the Rasmuson Foundation, 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. For more information, visit the Alaska Center for the Book website at http://www.alaskacenterforthebook.org/index.html

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