The Poetry Walk at 311 North Avenue is a window into a new way to engage with public space in Burlington. The Poetry Walk aspires to transcend a long history of harmful actions. Going as far back to the original colonization of Abenaki land, this land has also housed a misused orphanage, where many children experienced abuse, and the unfortunate closure of Burlington College, a beloved local arts college. Now in public hands, the park embracing a management plan that centers on healing and reciprocation. It will be, in perpetuity, a space for learning, sharing, and reflection.
The inaugural edition of the poetry walk is inspired by the connection of healing, nature and revolution. We have invited Indigenous and Black Poets to share poetry based on this theme. We recognize poetry to be one of human’s greatest tools to intuit and metabolize the spirit of life and connection. Please accept these poems, and the experience of this walk as an offering to support and encourage inclusive public space that welcomes us all to reverence for the Earth and our experiences as part of it.
This walk was made possible by the organizing of a collective of individuals and organizations. Special thanks to: the Vermont Releaf Collective, the Fletcher Free Library, the Community Economic and Development Office, the Department of Race, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront Department, At the Root, Roytruth Media, and the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.