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Monday, December 11 2017 @ 07:39 PM AKST

Writing workshops, poetry dedications in 2 Southcentral state parks this month

ArtsSigns bearing poems written by Alaskans will be installed and dedicated this month at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, the Seward waterfront, and Caines Head State Recreational Area as part of the Poems in Place Project. The public is invited to the dedications and free writing workshops held in conjunction with the dedications.

Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park
The poems “Tideline” by Leslie Leyland Fields and “The Compass Rose” by Fred Stager will be installed in the park at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. Fields will lead an active ‘hike-ku’ workshop titled “Kodiak and the Poetry of Place” from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet at the Fort Abercrombie Ranger Station at 1400 Abercrombie Drive in Kodiak.

Caines Head State Recreation Area
On Saturday, Sept. 19 Aleria Jensen and Justine Pechuzal will lead an outdoor creative writing workshop, “Writing our Way into Landscape” from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet at the Tonsina Creek Trailhead to write and hike their way to Tonsina Creek. The writing workshop is free and open to the public; participants should bring a notebook, pen, warm clothes and a poem about place. Also on Sept. 19, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. the dedication of Aleria Jensen’s poem “A Soldier’s Station” will start at the Seward Pavilion where local historian Doug Capra will give a short talk, and end at Lowell Point where the poem will be installed.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the public is invited to the dedication of the poem “Pilgrims” by Justine Pechuzal. To participate in this event, meet at the North Beach, Caines Head State Recreation Area at 10 a.m. The poem will be installed on the trail that leads from North Beach to Fort McGilvray. This event is weather dependent and participants must provide their own transportation.

For more information about the poetry dedications and writing workshops, email poemsinplace@gmail.com.

Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and a steering committee of Alaskan writers and poets began the Poems in Place project in 2011 to celebrate the connection many Alaskans have with the natural beauty of Alaska’s state parks. Their first project was the 2011 installation of the poem “What Whales and Infants Know,” by the late Kim Cornwall at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park. In 2013, poems by Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall were placed in Totem Bight State Historical Park near Ketchikan, and poems by John Haines and Frank Soos were placed at the Chena River State Recreation Area near Fairbanks. In 2014, a poem by Tom Sexton was installed at Independence Mine State Historical Park and a poem by Tim Troll was installed at the Aleknagik State Recreation Site.

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

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