Poems in Place is designed to give voice to the Alaskan landscape through an original work of poetry by an Alaskan writer, while establishing a strong connection between poetry and place.
Poems by English faculty Emily Wall and Ernestine Hayes have been selected for permanent placement in Totem Bight State Historical Park in Ketchikan as part of the Alaska Center for the Book’s Poems in Place project. Wall’s poem, “This Forest, This Beach, You,” and Hayes’ poem, “The Spoken Forest,” will be installed on signage in Totem Bight later this summer during a formal dedication ceremony at the park. Poems in Place is designed to give voice to the Alaskan landscape through an original work of poetry by an Alaskan writer, while establishing a strong connection between poetry and place. The project also offers a way to bring poetry to people who may not normally read it. Wall has published two collections of poetry, Liveaboard and Freshly Rooted. She also heads up publication of the UAS literary journal, Tidal Echoes. Hayes is best known for her prose; her memoir Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir won the American Book Award in 2007. The Poems in Place project is a collaboration between Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska State Parks, and a committee of writers and other Alaskans. The project is supported by Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Humanities Forum, Rasmuson Foundation, the Usibelli Foundation, the Alaska Poetry League, Alaska Center for the Book, and numerous individuals.