June 18, 2024

Poetry on Windows and The Poetry Walk
by Elphie Owen

Poetry on Windows has been installed at downtown Camden and Rockport locations and will remain up until June 12th or so. Submissions this year came from 5th grade and 7th grade students at CRMS, students at CHRHS and students at Hope Elementary School. There is also an installation of poems in Lincolnville written by students at Lincolnville Central School. Those locations are the Lincolnville General Store, Drakes, Dots and Western Auto as well as at the school itself.

For those of you unfamiliar with the project, Stewardship Education Alliance solicits poems from students throughout the district that are nature based and rooted in our local environment. It is the hope of the board of SEA that the project helps to foster a love of our watershed and a desire to be stewards of it.

This year we had the generous support of Youth Arts and the Bisbee Foundation and worked in collaboration with Poets’ Corner and the Camden Festival of Poetry.

During our May 18th Poetry Walk, as part of our collaboration with Poets’ Corner, several students read poems scribed on store windows in Camden to a delighted and enthusiastic crowd of poetry lovers – many of whom had traveled from far and wide to attend the Camden Festival of Poetry. The event had a playful and serendipitous air as various audience members stepped up to read the poems. Three 5th grade readers entertained the crowd with a second rap rendition of a poem that delighted all of us.

Every year there is a pixie dust transformation as the poems go from paper to window, touching our year-round community and visitors alike. This year, several folks at the Poetry Walk commented that they were gratified to see that poetry was taught in our school system. Personally, this took me aback; I didn’t know that schools around the country disregard poetry in school curricula. However, it also added to the gratitude I feel towards our Five Towns language arts teachers for their efforts in nurturing the poets and submitting their work.