News | March 30, 2024

U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to Launch 'You Are Here' with Anthology of Nature Poems and Poetry Installations in National Parks

Shawn Miller, Library of Congress

Ada Limón at Library of Congress

You Are Here, Ada Limón’s signature project as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, will launch during National Poetry Month in April with a celebration at the Library of Congress and will continue throughout the year with installations of poetry as public art in national parks across the country.

The project is comprised of two major initiatives, a new anthology of nature poems and a series of visits to national parks, as well as a call for the public to participate. The new anthology You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World will be published by Milkweed Editions in association with the Library of Congress on April 2. It features a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, an introduction by Limón, and 50 original poems by living American poets, including former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Pulitzer Prize winners Jericho Brown, Carl Phillips and Diane Suess, and PEN/Voelcker Award winners Victoria Chang and Rigoberto González. 

“I believe the way we respond to this crucial moment on our planet could define humanity forever. In conceiving of my signature project, I wanted something that could both praise our sacred and natural wonders and also speak the complex truths of this urgent time. It's my hope that You Are Here will do just that,” Limón said. 

You Are Here: Poetry in the Parks aims to deepen our connection to nature through poetry, and You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World is an anthology that speaks to the many different ways we are nature too. It may seem easier to surrender to the overwhelm of the world's challenges right now, but I believe that singing out, offering something back to the earth, noticing our connection to the planet, could help us all move forward together in a powerful way.” 

In June, Limón will launch the You Are Here: Poetry in Parks initiative with the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America. It will feature site-specific poetry installations in seven national parks across the country. These installations, which will transform picnic tables into works of public art, will each feature a historic American poem that connects in a meaningful way to the park. 
The featured poets and poems include:

  • Mary Oliver's Can You Imagine? at Cape Cod National Seashore
  • Jean Valentine's The valley at Cuyahoga Valley National Park 
  • June Jordan's Ecology at Everglades National Park
  • Lucille Clifton's the earth is a living thing at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • A.R. Ammons's Uppermost at Mount Rainier National Park
  • Francisco X. Alarcón's Never Alone at Redwood National and State Parks
  • Ofelia Zepeda's Na:nko Ma:s Cewagi/Cloud Song at Saguaro National Park

Limón will travel to each of the participating parks in 2024 to unveil and celebrate the new installations and support community outreach.