No escaping the power of poetry this month on Bainbridge

Islanders will see poems by local authors in various corners of Bainbridge during April, such as this display at the Pegasus Coffee House. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Islanders will see poems by local authors in various corners of Bainbridge during April, such as this display at the Pegasus Coffee House.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

It’s been said to have great poets, there must be great audiences.

Bainbridge Island is proving to be quite a sufficient crowd.

Bainbridge just got a little more poetic as the month of April began. That’s because organizers of the annual Poetry Corners event have been posting a slew of poems by local authors in windows across the island.

Since its inception in 1999, the Poetry Corners competition has been an island tradition. The Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council organizes it, and the event culminates in an island-wide display of local poetry throughout April; National Poetry Month.

“For us it’s a way to celebrate our local poets,” said Kathy Haskin with the arts council.

“They might be published poets, but they could be people who are trying their hand at poetry,” she said.

Each year the council announces a theme. Using that theme, islanders can submit their original poetry.

This year’s theme of “mischief” garnered 114 poem submissions from 64 poets. A total of 30 poems won the honor of being displayed throughout town, from Bay Hay & Feed to Lynwood.

“We put the poems in people’s paths, to see them in windows of businesses,” Haskin said. “What we strive to do with Poetry Corners is have people stumble across the poems and pause and read them.”

Poems are displayed on a simple black frame that hosts only a single white page displaying the poem.

This year, an added competition for youth poets was included in the event. Nine students, ranging from fourth-graders to high school seniors, submitted poems. They will also be featured around the island.

Local judges sift through the submissions and select the winners, without knowing who wrote what poem. The poets’ names are put back on their works before they go on public display.

Poetry Corners will conclude with a live reading of all the poems. Poetry Corners Live! will be Thursday, April 25 at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art auditorium.

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