I have many personal connections to today’s post topic, so I’m pleased to talk about “Poetry in the Pines”, a collaboration of the Monadnock Writers’ Group and the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH. So much poetry is inspired by nature that “Poetry in the Pines” seems a natural mélange.
Cathedral of the Pines is best described by them: “Situated on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Grand Monadnock, the Cathedral of the Pines is a breathtaking open-air cathedral and meeting space on 236 acres. Our historic monuments honor the service of American men and women—both military and civilian.”
Cathedral of the Pines first collaborated with the Monadnock Writers’ Group on a poetry contest in 2018. A 2019 contest followed, and this year the program resumed after a brief hiatus. This is not a typical poetry contest–the winning poems are enshrined on plaques and posted on the trails at the Cathedral for walkers and hikers to enjoy. A unique way to enhance one’s outdoor experience.
I bet some of those poems capture what visitors are feeling but didn’t know how to put into words.
The winners of this year’s contest were announced, and their poems installed on the trails, on May 14th. Blind judging was conducted by poet Susan Roney-O’Brien of Central Massachusetts. Susan is an award-winning poet with multiple collections to her credit. I am personally a huge fan.
So what are my connections to this topic? I’m a member of the Monadnock Writers’ Group. (They recently published my short story Two Kinds of People in their Smoky Quartz journal.) I live “up the street” from the Cathedral (that’s in loose terms–I’m a 45-minute drive away, which is considered “local” around here.) Susan Roney-O’Brien is a cherished mentor of mine. And I am in a writers’ group with one of this year’s winners, Devon Evans!
View the poems at the Cathedral yourself by walking the Grassy Pond spur trail that leaves from the parking area. You can view photos of some of the poems at the bottom of this MWG website page.