This year, we dedicated our celebration to the memory of our beloved Joya Verde.
Highlighting this year’s event were artist/sculptor/poet Ana Flores and world-renowned poet and Rumi translator Coleman Barks. Barks is a long-time friend of the Poetry Project and returned for his 7th visit to share his poignant translations of the 13th century mystic/poet Jelalludin Rumi. Coleman treated us to a special reading from his new book Soul Fury: Rumi and Shams Tabriz on Friendship, accompanied by Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort.
Ana Flores also joined us for the dedication of the island's Poetry of the Wild installations. Ana has made a name for herself through this remarkable project. This unique interactive exhibit invites participants to explore and rediscover familiar landscapes through the unique lens of poetry and art. These installations have delighted communities from coast to coast (including Mystic, CT, Colorado Springs, CO, St. Louis, MO, and most recently, Tubac, AZ). Different members of the island community (including school students, town employees, artists and local residents) created integrative “poetry boxes” which are installed all around the island, and which invite the public to out for a walk to see their world anew through the keenly felt perspectives of poets and artists. Please visit poetryofthewild.com for more information on Ana’s amazing work and click the links above for maps to Block Island's poetry boxes.
South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth and acclaimed poet Carol Ann Davis also returned to Block Island to conduct workshops, along with Indiana poet and teacher Joe Heithaus as well as poet Lucille Burt and rock balancer Mark Bailey who collaborated on a new way to see artistic endeavor.