You Are Here: Poetry In Parks

You Are Here, Ada Limón’s signature project as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, champions the ways reading and writing poetry can situate us in the natural world. “I believe,” says Limón, “the way we respond to this crucial moment on our planet could define humanity forever. In conceiving of my signature project, I wanted something that could both praise our sacred and natural wonders and also speak the complex truths of this urgent time.”

The Poetry Society is partnering with Limón, the Library of Congress, and the National Park Service to create You Are Here: Poetry in Parks, a new initiative to place site-specific poetry installations in seven national parks across the country. These installations, which will transform picnic tables into works of public art, will each feature a historic American poem that connects in a meaningful way to the park. 

The installations will encourage visitors to pay deeper attention to their surroundings and will prompt them to share their own responses to the natural world. “Never has it been more urgent to feel a sense of reciprocity with our environment, and poetry’s alchemical mix of attention, silence, and rhythm gives us a reciprocal way of experiencing nature--of communing with the natural world through breath and presence. Above all, this project is about rising to this moment with hope, the kind of hope that will echo outwards for years to come.”

Featured Poems

Participating Parks

  • Cape Cod National Seashore (Massachusetts)

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee)

  • Everglades National Park (Florida)

  • Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

  • Redwood National and State Parks (California)

  • Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

Poet Laureate of the United States

Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her book Bright Dead Things was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her most recent book of poetry, The Hurting Kind, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and wrote a poem that will be engraved on NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will be launched to the second moon of Jupiter in October 2024. Her signature project as the 24th Poet Laureate of The United States is You Are Here, which focuses on how poetry can help connect us to the natural world. She will serve as Poet Laureate until the spring of 2025. In October of 2023, she was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

Featured Poets

Francisco X. Alarcón (1954–2016) was an award-winning Chicano poet and educator. He authored fourteen volumes of poetry, including Canto hondo/Deep Song and From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems. ​In addition, he published a number of award-winning, bilingual poetry books for children. His honors include an American Book Award, the Chicano Literary Prize, and the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award. He taught at the University of California, Davis, where he directed the Spanish for Native Speakers Program.

A. R. Ammons’s (1926–2001) was born near Whiteville, North Carolina. He published 29 poetry collections, including Garbage, which received the National Book Award and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress; A Coast of Trees, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Collected Poems, 1951–197, which received the National Book Award. His other honors include the Wallace Stevens Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He taught at Cornell University for over 35 years, where he was Goldwin Smith Professor of Poetry.

Lucille Clifton (1936–2010) was an award-winning poet, fiction writer, and author of children’s books. Her poetry collection, Blessing the Boats: New & Selected Poems 1988-2000, won the National Book Award for Poetry. In 1988 she became the only author to have two collections selected in the same year as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir and Next: New Poems. In 1996, her collection The Terrible Stories was a finalist for the National Book Award. Among her many other awards and accolades are the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal, and an Emmy Award. In 2013, her posthumously published collection The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965–2010 was awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry.

June Jordan (1936–2002) was born in Harlem and was the author of ten books of poetry, seven collections of essays, two plays, a libretto, a novel, a memoir, five children’s books, and June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. As a professor at UC Berkeley, Jordan established Poetry for the People, a program to train student teachers to teach the power of poetry from a multicultural worldview. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and her articles appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Ms., Essence, and The Nation. Her collected poems, Directed by Desire, was published in 2007.

Mary Oliver ​(1935–2019) i​s one of America's best-selling poets. Among her many honors are the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for American Primitive, the National Book Award in 1992 for New and Selected Poems, and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize. She was awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Achievement Award. She received honorary doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston, Dartmouth College, Marquette University, and Tufts University and taught at many colleges and universities, including Case Western Reserve University; Bennington College, where she held the Catherine Osgood Foster Chair For Distinguished Teaching; Bucknell University; and Sweet Briar College, where she was Margaret Banister Writer in Residence.

Jean Valentine (1934–2020) was born in Chicago, earned her BA from Radcliffe College, and has lived most of her life in New York City. She won the Yale Younger Poets Prize for her first book, Dream Barker, in 1965. Her collection Door in the Mountain won the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Council for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has been a recipient of the Maurice Prize, the Teasdale Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ofelia Zepeda (b. 1952) is a member of the Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) Nation and grew up in Stanfield, Arizona.​ She is a poet, Regents’ Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in American Indian language education. Her poetry collections include Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert and Jewed’l-hoi/Earth Movements, O’Odham Poem. She is the current editor of Sun Tracks, which was launched in 1971 and is one of the first publishing programs to focus exclusively on the creative works of Native Americans.


To purchase books by featured poets, and the anthology You are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by Ada Limón, the twenty-fourth Poet Laureate of the United States visit our store on