Laguna Poetry Trail Project calls for entries from local scribes

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Ellen Girardeau Kempler, founder of the Laguna Poetry Trail Project

Local poet Ellen Girardeau Kempler has received a $4,000 grant from Laguna Beach’s “Fostering Creativity in a Time of Crisis program” to establish a year-long poetry trail project through downtown.

The Poetry Trail’s grant was one of dozens funded by a $100,000 donation to Laguna Beach, made possible by a gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.

Kempler will select ten short poems submitted by community members in response to pre-selected works of art along a walkable route around downtown. At the project’s conclusion, she will have the text of each poem and the poet’s name printed on permanent signage to be installed near the artwork

“I hope that even people who don’t consider themselves writers will be inspired to submit three-line poems,” Kempler said in a prepared statement. “By recognizing the 10 selected poets, printing and posting their work for the public to read, I want to reinforce the idea of poetry as accessible and integral to the artistic experience. This project takes poetry off its pedestal and into the public square”

Kempler will start promoting the project on Nov. 16 with posts on Instagram @lagunabeachpoetrytrail. These posts will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Poets are invited to submit their three-line poems (no more than 25 words), name, address, phone number and category (adult, teen, child), to Laguna Beach

Poetry Project, [email protected].

To eliminate bias, all identifying information will be removed by a screener before judging. There is no fee to enter or limits on the number of entries, but no poet will be featured more than once. All poets must be Laguna Beach residents.

The finished plaques featuring the selected poems will be similar to one installed at the Little Free Library at Laguna Beach Fire Station #3. Kempler hopes to lead poetry walks along the trail starting at the Laguna Beach Library during National Poetry Month in April 2022 (or 2021, if conditions allow). For more information, contact Kempler at 949-274-1702.

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