Thursday, March 27, 2014

Artist in Residence Poetry Banners in the Park


AIRIE poet Anne McCrary Sullivan hanging a banner at Pahayokee Overlook

To commemorate UNESCO’s World Poetry Day and National Poetry month, visitors will encounter Everglades-inspired poetry throughout Everglades National Park starting on Friday, March 21, 2014 through April 30, 2014.  Visitors will see vibrant banners displayed on trails and at visitor centers featuring the voices of the Everglades through words and rhythms from our former Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades (AIRIE) poets.

“I want to make the environment come alive on the page by creating word pictures, drawing readers vicariously into the magnificence of our natural wild places. We writers . . . have helped to establish the aesthetic value and material efficacy of the Glades.” -- Bill Maxwell, AIRIE 2013.

Visitor reading a poem on the Anhinga Trail

Hungarian Visitors reading a poem at Mahogany Hammock Trail
Of the many rich and varied forms of the written word, the poem, with its ability to take many shapes and to plumb the depths of human emotion, remains one of the most powerful. World Poetry Day, March 21, is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and support linguistic diversity through poetic expression. National Poetry Month, held in April, celebrates poetry and its vital place in American culture.

In January, February, and March, the colorful banners were located at Losner Park, 104 N. Krome Avenue, in Historic Downtown Homestead. Each month displayed a different set of the 41 poems springing from the minds of AIRIE poets. Visitors enjoyed the poetry while they waited to board the Homestead National Parks Trolley and then saw for themselves the natural beauty that served as inspiration.

Poetry Banners at Losner Park

“This is yet another wonderful program that strengthens the partnership between Homestead and one of its neighboring National Parks,” said Vice-Mayor Stephen R. Shelley, who coordinated bringing the poetry exhibit to Losner Park and also led the efforts to create the Homestead national Parks Trolley.

Other Events

1.     Art Exhibit promotes literacy and art at Everglades National Park

WHAT:  Art exhibit by the March AIRIE volunteer Nathaniel Sandler
WHEN: Sunday, March 30 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
WHERE: Royal Palm Visitor Center, 4 miles (6 km) from the main park entrance near Homestead.
Mr. Sandler will exhibit books and reading materials as a means for visitors to experience something fun and interesting at the park. The exhibit promotes literacy, art, and the tangible, timeless beauty of books by disseminating the printed word.  The books and reading materials will be available for free to visitors. Mr. Sandler will set up at the Royal Palm, near the Anhinga Trail. Mr. Sandler’s exhibit is supported by Bookleggers Library, a community mobile library that sets up in South Florida to give free books away to the public to encourage reading. 
2.     Save the Date: Everglades Day Trip April 5th

A tour in which all proceeds will benefit the Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades (AIRIE) Program. Miami-based artist and AIRIE Board Member Christy Gast will host a day trip to the Hole-in-the-Donut region of the Everglades in conjunction with her solo exhibition at Locust Projects entitled Inholdings. The tour begins at Locust Projects with a private chat about the work in the show. From there we will board an exclusive motor coach with artists and scientists and tour the sites that inspired the work--slash pine forests, tomato fields, an ecological restoration project and a nuclear missile base. The tour will include a picnic lunch, and will last about 6 hours round trip.  RSVP to

3.     Learn about the next stage of an Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades.

Performance artist Ana Mendez was an Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades (AIRIE) in June 2013.  Since then, she has been taking her inspiration from the residency and performing throughout Miami.  See more at

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