Friday Harbor Poetry Gardens
Poetry is a way of seeing our world through another's mind.
The Town of Friday Harbor's Poetry Gardens have been created as a way of bringing poetry into our daily experiences. The poems within were selected from a contest held for islanders of all ages living in the San Juan Islands. We hope you enjoy!
You will find the Poetry Gardens at:
- Mullis Community Senior Center on Nash Street near the intersection with Caines Street
- Reed Street beside the US Post Office
- San Juan Community Theatre on Second Street at the intersection with Blair Avenue
- Spring Street Landing at the Port of Friday Harbor below Downriggers
You will find the 2023 Poetry Gardens e-book here.
Town installs 2023 Poetry Gardens and publishes book of winning entries.
The Town and its Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC) invite the public to enjoy new poems now on display at the four Poetry Gardens located next to the Post Office, in the waterfront viewing area below Downriggers, and in front of San Juan Community Theatre and Mullis Center. The 30 poems were written by San Juan County residents and selected by former Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna in the Town’s second Poetry Garden Contest.
The Town has also published an e-book and a limited edition booklet of the winning poems, Friday Harbor Poetry Gardens 2023, available free at Town Hall. A celebratory poetry reading is being planned for later this year.
Authors of the poems installed in the original gardens have been invited to donate their plaques to the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park for a future installation. “The public will continue to enjoy these poems for many years to come,” said Town Councilmember and poetry committee member Mason Turnage. “The Town appreciates the generosity of the poets and the Sculpture Park as well as the efforts of our Poetry Garden citizen committee members Rebecca Cook and Boyd Pratt and arts commissioner David Jenkins.”
2023 Poetry Garden Contest Winners Announced
A limited edition book of the winning poems, Friday Harbor Poetry Gardens 2023, is available for free at Town Hall, and an e-book is available on this website.
Contest winners: Judith Azrael ("Serenity"), Eliza Bishop Steinbacher ("The First Things"), Madeleine S. Butcher ("Field" and "How the Field Lies"), Nita Couchman ("Fresh Snow" and "Pastel Morning"), Susie Foster Hale ("A November Afternoon" and "About Longing"), Emily Geyman ("The Sea"), Sandora Hedrich ("Silence" and "Wilding Wonderment"), Ladd Thomas Holroyd ("Working Cedar"), Lowell Jons ("News of the Week" and "Tracks"), Amber R. Lewis ("The Eagle"), Lynne Mercer ("Only Trees Can Provide"), Tara Mesalik MacMahon ("Haiku Gardens-1 and 2" and "Gratitude"), Jeff Otis ("Life On The Ferry"), Cynthia Rogers ("Our Final Test"), Wendy Smith ("Prehistoric Now"), Keri Talbott ("Rumors"), Marianne Tynan ("In the Gloaming" and "Saving the Island Marble Butterfly"), Paul S. Walsh ("Color" and "Surprise"), William Weissinger ("The Sea Breathes Out the Gentlest of Sighs"), and Ed Wilson ("A Garland of Thyme" and "September Lace")