Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday January 16th 2019


Poems for Parkland

By Jennie McKeon

On World Poetry Day, which is March 21, From the Ground Up Community Garden will present Poems for Parkland. It’s not necessarily an event to protest for change or for healing or outreach. Instead it’s to stand in solidarity for all of those things, said Elizabeth Eubanks, lead gardener at From the Ground Up.

Last year, the garden celebrated World Poetry Day with an event hosted by local writer Brett Hutchins. This year, the organization was contacted by 100 Thousand Poets for Change to collaborate on an event that would recognize the tragedy in Parkland.

“As a  former ‘formal’ school teacher and a Floridian, I have many personal feelings about the devastation at Marjory Stoneman Douglas,” Eubanks said. “For me the desired outcome is simple—that is to let the Parkland community know that we care.”

Eubanks will be sharing a live feed of the event with Parkland as a way to bring people together and share thoughts via poem.

There’s no angle for advocacy or politics—except for freedom of speech, said Eubanks. It’s a time to give people a platform to share their feelings.

“As a long time educator I strongly believe in teachable moments and letting each lesson/event/class/life take on it’s own flow when discussing sensitive issues such as this,” Eubanks said. “There are no strong objectives here, other than letting the individuals of  our community share and letting it be what it is on that day—wide open to all possibilities of healing, grief, opinions, thoughts and advocacy for policy change.”

Poet Alyssa Townsend will host the Poems for Parkland event. She said the evening will be a chance for neighbors from all walks to life to respectfully listen to one another.

“What I love about poetry is that it tends to create a space for expression where you can hear different perspectives and interpretations of the world we live in,” she said.

WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21
WHERE: From the Ground Up Community Garden, 501 N. Hayne St.
COST: Free