Use this poetic map to consider the places that shape you on a day-to-day basis. Start small with your neighborhood, your commute, the rooms in your living space, the path of your daily walk, etc. How do the places you visit in your daily life impact your emotions, memories, traumas, and ambitions?
Use your writing to notice the way place, emotion, community, and self intertwine.
Landings, Legacies, and Lichens (Luke McRedmond Park)
This park is named for a colonial landing, but the river has sustained Indigenous communities since time immemorial.
- What does it mean to land in a place?
- How did you come to land in this place today?
- How do we tell the stories of a place and what is your story with this place and with this city?
- What happens when some stories are left out?
Allow your writing to look underneath the legacies of place and consider the way stories intertwine.
Rivers, Recollections, and Rhizomes (Dudley Carter Park)
Rivers are defined by current and direction. All rivers have headwaters, and all rivers are connected to watersheds of tributaries, distributaries, and other water forms. Each water system is a territory of biodiversity and shelter.
- What plants and animals do you notice on the river?
- How is the river moving?
Use the river as a source of inspiration by noticing all the connections and relationships that live on or near the river.
Seasons, Strata, and Salal (Bear Creek Greenway)
Notice the weather in this space.
- What are the signs of the season?
- Do you feel the sun or wind?
Imagine or observe a form of warmth or cool (warmth on your hair from the sun, the rain falling on the sidewalk, the shade under a tree) and allow it seep into your writing.
What does focusing on the warmth or cool of the season help you notice about this space?
Connections, Commutes, and Cedars (Redmond Connector Park)
Water, road, trail, and sky: how do you and others move through the space of this city? Think about the way your “commute” shapes the way you perceive this space. What are all the ways a person might approach this space?
The art in this park, “Signals” by John Flemming includes the phrase: “Your location is.”
- How do you know where your location is?
- What signs do you use to know where you stand?
Nests, Networks, and Nettles (Heron Rookery)
Notice this place of peace and tranquility in the heart of the city. Think of the daily tactile, visual, and auditory input that your body uses as a map of being.
- What do you feel in this space?
All the small wonders we interact with bind us to the narratives of our lives. What do you need to see, touch, hear, and feel that help you root yourself in this space and give you hope as you move forward? Think of the image of a nest. How does this space embody that image? What do nesting places fulfill in a city?
Want to learn more? Our Poet Laureate worked with the King County Library Systems to create a supplementary booklist to support the poetry map. The booklist has titles and links to the Snoqualmie tribe and Redmond history museum so that folks can learn more about the different sites. Check it out here!