By Lucy Tyrrell - Bayfield Poet Laureate 2020–2021
A poetry trail idea was hatched as a project during my tenure as Bayfield Poet Laureate in 2020–2021. Instead of using a literal walking trail, in coordination with the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, I organized the first Bayfield Poetry Trail (2021) in which 22 businesses (Bayfield Chamber members) posted poems in their windows. Many shops shared poems related to their business or location. The "trail" lasted for a month from mid-August to mid-September.
In 2022, the Bayfield Poetry Trail was expanded to include 26 businesses—this time during September to overlap with Art Escape and Bayfield Festival of Arts. Poems from the two past Bayfield Poetry Trails are available for reading in a binder at the Bayfield Carnegie Library, sponsor (with the City of Bayfield) of the Poet Laureate program.
I thought it would be good to have garden or flower poems posted on local trails in concert with Bayfield in Bloom. This led me to wonder whether 2023 might be the year to have poems posted during June instead of September. Carol Fahrenkrog, Director of the Bayfield Chamber, suggested that trail poems be part of the Garden Tour and retain the Bayfield Poetry Trail in September.
To give Salmo Trail users a chance to read about nature and blooms, I placed eight poems along the trail for the week of Bayfield in Bloom, listed as Stop #16 for the Garden Tour (June 10, 2023). Some poems were written by contemporary poets, while others were penned centuries ago.
If you did not get a chance to experience this year’s poetry on the Salmo Trail, maybe there will be a repeat with different poems in 2024.
The third annual Bayfield Poetry Trail will be staged for Art Escape, September 9-17, 2023 and poems will be posted for the entire month of September. Twenty-six businesses have signed up to participate. You can view a map of the poetry trail in the Art Escape brochure.
The poetry trails and walks have been a group effort. Thanks to all!
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