Laguna Beach poetry trail launches

Ellen Girardeau Kempler, founder of the Laguna Poetry Trail Project

The Laguna Beach Poetry Trail is launching from a grant funded by the Laguna Beach Arts Commission from a donation from the Wayne Peterson Trust.

The terms of the grant stated that between November 2020 and April 2021, community members were encouraged to visit and engage with ten selected works of public art along the poetry trail route, then write and submit a short poem in response. Out of these, 10 poems were selected to be featured on permanent signs posted near the subject artwork. Friends of the Library Board funded a trail guide distributed at the library and other downtown sites and can also be downloaded from

It includes photos of the art and the poets as well as biographical information; description of the art, route and points of interest; and a map with a QR code that leads to a Google Trail Map. The guide was designed by Laguna Beach resident Cindy Love, a professional who volunteered her time and expertise. The 10 winning poems were chosen from 127 entries using a blind judging process and demonstrate how art can inspire imagination and how words can complement visual art. Three of the poets are students and the other seven are involved with a wide variety of local community organizations.

Visitors are encouraged to note their responses to the art and share photos of themselves on the trail @lagunabeachpoetrytrail on Instagram.

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