Your Community: Poetry Walk offers an outdoor literary experience

April is National Poetry Month, and with the weather making a turn for the better, Johnson County Library is pleased to announce a new program, Poetry Walk. This outdoor program is an opportunity to hear from local KC writers while enjoying the sunshine safely in an outdoor space.

The program is currently available at Franklin Park in Prairie Village until Sunday, April 11. On April 16, it will move to South Lake Park in Overland Park until it ends on Sunday, April 26.

Poetry Walk is a self-guided tour. Along your path, you’ll encounter thirty-five poems, each paired with a vibrant work of visual art from past issues of elementia, the Library’s teen literary magazine. The poems, which were mostly winners of either elementia or the Library’s adult writing contest, also have an auditory component. By scanning QR codes with your phone, you’ll be able to hear recordings of each poem, read by the authors themselves.

The poems featured in the Poetry Walk embody a broad range of themes and styles. In “Remembering,” Mary Silwance writes about deep historical memory, “place my finger / in the middle of a word / sentence page book / in the middle of a library / endless with middles / and recall how it started and why.” Whereas Katherine Westbrook writes with a haunting immediacy in “Aloe Vera”: “The robins on the powerline clench / the wire as if it were a thread of music / Mute as man’s grip to knife handles.”

Poetry Walk is an extension of the Library’s long-running Walk and Read program, which also brings the literary experience out in the open. Unlike the Poetry Walk, which is intended for adult and teen audiences, Walk and Read provides programming suitable for families and young children. Starting on May 7th, Walk and Read will be available at Antioch Park in Merriam and will move to a different park each week until October.

As elementia poet Rachel Stander writes, “Tonight, I’ll dream of happiness / and tomorrow, I’ll take a walk.” To learn more about Poetry Walk and where to find it, visit the event calendar on jocolibrary.org.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom