Community Exhibit

CALL FOR POETRY!

The past year has been a year unlike any other.  The REACH Museum closed its doors due to COVID-19 just over a year ago.   While we “stayed home and stayed safe”, many of us found ourselves seeking solace in our local wild and outdoor spaces.  Over the past year, did you spend time outdoors in the Columbia Basin?  If you did, what did you observe? Did you notice new patterns in nature?  Were you able to take a closer look at the weather, the plants, or the creatures in your neighborhood?  How has nature inspired you?  

   

Our upcoming “Connections with the Land” Community Exhibit aims to highlight how we turn to the natural world in times of hardship, and we need your help! In April, as we celebrate National Poetry Month, the REACH is extending a call for poetry to seasoned lyricists, intrepid rhymesters, and fledgling poets alike.  We invite you, community members of all ages and poetic abilities, to reflect on how you have been inspired by nature over the past year and then, to share your experiences with our community through poetry!   Selected submissions will be displayed at the museum beginning in May and select pieces will also be highlighted on our website and social media pages.

 

There are so many different ways to create poetry and we will accept all submissions that adhere to the guidelines, so be sure to read through carefully.  For some simple ideas, you can find examples of a few of the many different types of poems or check out the poem below written by a REACH staff member for some inspiration.  We look forward to celebrating the thoughts of our community and the creativity that our local landscapes inspire!

How to Submit
  • Submit your poems by April 26th.
  • For display purposes, submissions should be formatted to fit on 8.5” x 11” paper or smaller.  More than one poem can be on each page.   
  • Poems submitted via email must be sent as a PDF (preferred), or as a finished document, ready to display.  The REACH will display submissions as they appear with no additional formatting. 
  • Be sure to include only your first name (last name optional) and age on your submission.  Do not include any other personal info on the submission itself.   
  • Submissions can be handwritten and can include original artwork.     

 Submissions will be accepted the following ways: 

  1. Email submissions as attachments (pdf preferred) to:   andreac@visitthereach.org 
  2. Drop off submissions at the REACH Museum after April 2nd during open museum hours (refer to website for current hours).  Please make sure to include your contact info (including email).
  3. Mail submissions (please include a contact email) to the following address:

REACH Museum
Attn: POETRY EXHIBIT  
1943 Columbia Park Drive
Richland, WA 99352

Nature Finds Me 

 Nature finds me,
Everywhere.
When I retreat inside to hide from the world,
Angry at reality.
I notice it.  Sprouting,
From the cracks in the sidewalks.
I see it.  Perched,
Feathers fluffed on a light post.
I feel it.  Blasting my cheeks
With fine, airborne sand
As I wander to the mailbox.
I feel it. Warm and constant.
A burning heat on the backs of my legs,
My feet cooling in the swirling river.
I smell it.
French fries, onions,
And when I am really lucky,
Petrichor,
The sweet smell of earth and plants
After rain.
I hear it.  Deafening, flowing, hushed.
A jumbled tumble of pebbles
Pulled by river currents,
Skipping through deep channels.
I taste it.  Sweet and bitter.
Fruits of the floods,
Food grown in fertile, sun drenched soil,
Created from catastrophe.
Yes, nature finds me.
It stops me short, shouting
Look! Listen! Taste! Touch! Smell!
I always welcome it.
It pulls me urgently, blissfully,
Back to here and now.