Pennsylvania Center for the Book

PUBLIC POETRY PROJECT

A celebration of poems to the people

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2002 Poetry Posters
The Lighthouse Poster

The Lighthouse
By Liz Rosenberg

Liz Rosenberg’s “The Lighthouse” expands our appreciation for something everyday. The imagination that wants to live as a single watching eye reveals a speaker aspiring to be something larger, something greater, than she might be.

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Once I was in the Eighth Grade poster

Once When I Was in the Eighth Grade
By Maurice Kilwein Guevara

Maurice Kilwein Guevara’s “Once When I Was in the Eighth Grade” captures that moment school children yearn for, the withering answer. In this case, the image is so striking, otherworldly and tragic, that the window becomes the domain of the speaker, and the act of witnessing something great.

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Pagan poster

Pagan
By Beth Scroggin

Beth Scroggin’s “Pagan” casts birds into menacing light, as nightmares, as something tearing at the sky—tying image to emotion in a brief and intense piece.

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Courage poster

Courage, or One of Gene Horner's Fiddles
By Lisa Coffman

Lisa Coffman’s “Courage, or One of Gene Horner’s Fiddles” conflates courage and music, a moment of witness and a moment of shame.

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Lisa Coffman's poetry reading

Fire in the Onion Field poster

Fire in the Onion Field
By Deborah Burnham

Deborah Burnham’s vivid and searing depiction, “Fire in the Onion Field,” focuses a disastrous event on the death of a mole. But the mole does not understand what happens to him and, in the poem’s closing moment, swims across the sun—a metaphor for transcendence.

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Fire in the Onion Field poster

The Earliest Memory
By Margaret Almon

Margaret Almon’s “The Earliest Memory” works to capture the ineffable in images, ranging from pebbles to the red fish at the poem’s closing. Each image is small, transitional, fleeting, like memory can itself be.

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Two honorable mention poems were also selected: "Song of the Seeing Eye Dog" by Alyce Wilson and "Sometimes I Dream of Freeways" by Anna Manahan Bowman.

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