Poetry in Windows: Students bring together community around stewardship of natural world
From Memorial Day weekend, through mid-June, the Stewardship Education Alliance (S.E.A.) presented Poetry on Windows. Poetry about the environment by students in Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, and Rockland graced store windows in Camden, Lincolnville, and Rockport. As Wendell Berry writes, “It all turns on affection,” which is the core of what Poetry on Windows seeks to foster and embody—the hearts of our children and their love for the land, sea and air that we inhabit. If we don’t foster affection, we can’t hope for preservation.
Poetry on Windows is truly a community wide endeavor. We have many organizations and individuals to thank for their support.
Youth Arts, the Bisbee Fund, and Camden National Bank have supported Poetry on Windows since 2020. This year, we were able to bring poet Brian Evans-Jones to hold workshops in four schools. Without their help, this could not have happened.
Our merchants have been generous participants in this community event. We could not be more impressed with their kindness and generosity or more grateful to them:
Lincolnville Center General Store
Lincolnville Town Office
3 Bug Farm
Drake Corner Store
Lincolnville Central School library and Walsh Common.
Camden National Bank
Camden Public Library
Camden Town Office
Carver Hill Gallery
First National Bank
House of Logan
Laugh Loud Smile Big
Leslie Curtis Designs
Maine Seaside Treasures
Maine Sport Outfitters
Once a Tree
Owl and turtle
Oyster River Winery
Rockport Public Library
Small Wonder Gallery
Swan Island Company
The Cashmere Goat
Teachers at Camden Rockport Middle School, Lincolnville Central School, Appleton Village School and Hope School have been instrumental in making the event possible. Holly Billings (Appleton), Dawn Emery (Lincolnville), Heather Butler (CRMS) and Jen Thorn (Hope) have long fostered writing poetry in their classrooms with editing pencils and grammar lessons. This year, Dawn Emery took the lead in launching POW in Lincolnville, as did Charlie Gluck at the Rockport Library.
Our scribes each grabbed a pen and sometimes a ladder and drew the poems on windows. We appreciate every single letter, from flowery to architectural, that showcased the poems in glorious gold and white calligraphy.
Skilled teacher and poet Brian Evans-Jones, beguiled images and emotions from our students in carefully crafted workshops. The results are evident in their poems.
And finally, a deep bow to the poets themselves who spent weeks honing their choices of words and reworking their metaphors. We hope our students understand how impactful their words have been in bringing together our community around stewardship of our natural world.
Elphie Owen lives in Camden and represents the Stewardship Education Alliance