If you poetry lovers are looking for a unique and engaging way to pass this summer in Fredericton, I have great news.
Thanks to the initiative of Dr. Kathy Mac, who was inspired by the original Poetic Places app created by Sarah Cole during her time as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the British Museum, Fredericton's own Poetic Places app is set to be launched this July.
Poetic Places Fredericton (or PPF for short) uses push notifications to let you know when you are walking by an area or building which is related in some way to a poem written by a local poet.
The app is divided into four major sections: Poems, Poets, Places, and Home. Although we encourage you to get out and explore our beautiful city, after downloading the app you will have instant access to all its poems which can be read at your leisure via the Poems section. The Poets section introduces you to the brilliant minds behind these poems, including a photo, short biography, and even a selected bibliography (in case you really become a fan). The Places section provides a brief history of each location and explains their relationship to the poem and poet Kathy and I have placed there. Finally, the Home section acts as a blog through which the editor (that's me) can announce any updates made to the app and other poetry related news.
Poetic Places Fredericton is currently still in development, but will be available through the Google Play Store by the end of August for $1.99 CAN. While these proceeds must first be used to maintain the app itself, we are happy to announce that any money left over will be donated to the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick to support local writers.
So why not support your local literary scene and have fun in the process? Get out there and hunt down some poems!
Thanks for reading!
Poetic Places Fredericton Editor 2017.
Located on the Western edge of O'dell Park, and accessible through its beautiful walking trails, is the city of Fredericton's Botanic Garden. While the year-round free admission and the beauty of the garden is enough to encourage anyone to visit, this summer there is another reason for poetry lovers like you and me to stop by. Headed by Dr. Stephen Heard of the University of New Brunswick Biology Department, this summer the Botanic Garden will be hosting an "Arts and Culture Bed", where plants are paired with music, prose, and poetry created by New Brunswick artists.
The plants to be displayed in the "Arts and Culture Bed" will be decided through the selection of poems in which they appear. For instance, a group of geraniums would be displayed alongside a poem about geraniums, or one which uses geraniums as its main image or metaphor, The literary work, as well as information about the artist and the plant, is to be displayed on panels beside the plantings. This attraction thereby provides a fun and unique opportunity to learn about New Brunswick artists, as well as local plant-life.
This project is very fitting for New Brunswick, as much of our province's artwork gravitates towards the raw, natural beauty which surrounds us. While working on my project Poetic Places Fredericton (which I will introduce in another blog when the time is right), I have had the opportunity to read works written by many New Brunswick poets, and I can almost guarantee that each one of them has written something about New Brunswick's forests, flowers, trees, or even the plants that some would consider weeds. This project is a clever way of bridging the gap between the poet's inspiration, and their expression of that idea.
The main entrance to the Botanic Garden is located at 694 Prospect Street, and the garden is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. Although there has been no date set for the opening of the "Arts and Culture Bed" yet, I will be sure to update this post when there is one.
For more information about the Botanic Garden, and a map of the area which outlines points of interest, please visit http://www.frederictonbotanicgarden.com/the-garden.
Thanks for reading!
- Katlin Copeland.
Summer. The time of tank tops and flip flops, of sunscreen and sunglasses. When the sun beats down, heating the air to a goosebumps-inducing warmth. Ice cream sales go up, parka sales go down (or at least, you’d think they would). Kids are frolicking, mosquitos and blackflies are feasting; everyone’s freezing in the blasted air-conditioning of the movie theatre. And, as always, the season of construction begins (everyone’s favourite part, right?).
Yes, that’s right. Break out the shades, the season of summer is fast approaching. For those post-secondary students who are done with exams, it’s already here – even if we haven’t technically hit the official “first day of summer” on the calendar.
In celebration of the imminent season, I thought I’d share some poems with you. Not all of the poems mention summer, or anything that might indicate that the poem was intended to be about summer. But in reading each one, summer is imprinted into my brain – the bright sunlight glinting off of objects, lush green grass dotted with dandelions, a vibrant blue sky, and fluffy white clouds. Each of these poems feel like summer to me.
Streetlight, Afternoon by Sue Sinclair
Nowhere in this poem does it explicitly say anything about summer. Yet – in my opinion, at least – the entire poem exudes summer. The sun glinting off of the streetlight under a bright blue sky, bicycles and skateboards piloted by energetic children – not to mention that it’s noon, and any other time of the year children are either in school or the weather isn’t bike and skateboard friendly.
Walking Stick by Deirdre Kessler
The only solid indication that this poem takes place in summer is the mention of honeysuckle, mulberries, and blackberries – honeysuckle blooms from spring into early fall, and both mulberries and blackberries ripen in the summer. Yet even if you don’t have the knowledge of the peak season of honeysuckle blooms and ripe berries (trust me, I had to look it up too), this poem still feels like summer. The freedom of the children; the smack of the screen door as children burst outside, barely slowing to open the door.
Horse Girls by Tammy Armstrong
When I read this poem, I see a field of long grass dotted with tiny flowers. The sun beats down in a way that seems to make every colour paler. A girl rides bareback on a chestnut-coloured horse, girl-hair and horse-hair alike fluttering in the breeze as a group of boys watch from behind the wooden rail fence. Clad in jeans and a t-shirt, the girl’s feet are bare (while I realize that the “tanned foot” used to open the gate is probably a tanned-leather boot, I initially read it as a bare foot tanned by the summer sun, and that’s the image that stuck in my mind).
A Summer Day by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This poem hardly needs an explanation for being on this list. It describes an idealistic summer’s day, starting with the dewy hope of dawn, moving to the buzzing heat of mid-day, and ending with the cooling breeze of dusk.
Until next time,
a.k.a. the girl who loves her new knit hat a little too much to not wear it, even though it’s probably too warm out (but can you blame me, it’s reversible!)