Visit a poetry landmark
PostedApril 26, 2011
No matter where in the country you live, a poetry landmark is nearby. Whether it's the birthplace of a contemporary poet, the site of a single poem's inspiration, or the plot of a poet's grave, visiting physical spaces associated with a favorite writer is a memorable way to pay homage to their life and work.
Poets.org showcases more than thirty historical sites throughout the United States, each selected by the Academy of American Poets with input from Poets.org readers.
"We received hundreds of poetry landmark nominations, and we heard from people in all fifty states," says the Academy's executive director Tree Swenson. "We are excited to recognize points on our country's physical landscape-from Maine to Georgia to Montana-that are important to the cultural landscape."
Sites chosen as landmarks include poets' birthplaces (e.g., Carl Sandburg, Galesburg, IL), poetry museums and libraries (e.g., the Marianne Moore Collection at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA), places of poetic inspiration (e.g., Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, NY), and sites that commemorate poetry (e.g., Berkeley Poetry Walk, Berkeley, CA).
"We tried to identify places where people can literally walk in a poet's footsteps," says Swenson. The nomination process was open to the public.
Poets.org has also compiled a list of Poets' Graves. Browsable by state, the resource includes nearly a hundred of the nation's most celebrated poets.
Use these resources as a starting place, or put your own favorite poet on the map. Find the landmarks not listed on Poets.org, including statues of poets, bars and restaraunts named after poems or characters—even temporary poetry-related installations and exhibits.
Let us know what you discover. Send an email to email@example.com with suggestions for future landmark features, or for inclusion on the National Poetry Map.