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#5Poets5Parks, April 4, 2024, Glass City Metropark 

On April 5, 2024, #5poets5parks launched for its inaugural year. A collaboration between the arts and Metroparks Toledo, the initiative brought together five-award winning Toledo poets, custom letterpress printing, photography, and live music to celebrate National Poetry Month. With a focus on the conservation efforts of five of Toledo’s 19 Metroparks—Farnsworth Metropark, Glass City Metropark, Oak Openings Preserve, Side Cut Metropark, and Wildwood Preserve—the event debuted original poems by Lucas County Poet Laureate Jonie McIntire Ryan Bunch, Dustin Pearson (recently awarded the 2024 Nancy Dasher Book Award), Tim Geiger, and Kerry Trautman, written in honor of their respective Metropark.  


above photo by Julie E. Bloemeke; all event photos by Doug Hinebaugh 


The event was covered by photographers Scott Carpenter and Doug Hinebaugh and featured on WTOL channel 11 news. Poco Piatti catered the reception following the reading. All photos on this page are courtesy of Doug Hinebaugh unless otherwise indicated.

#5poets5parks will return in early April 2025 and feature an additional five poets and five Metroparks. For additional information, please visit here. 


Over the course of nine months, each poet visited their park to compose a poem highlighting the history and biodiversity of the area, and then collaborated with Sven Olaf Nelson, founder of Pineapple Press and Design, to create a custom letterpress printed postcard of their final poem. Hand laid and printed on handmade paper containing native Northwest Ohio seeds from Blue Creek Nursery, each postcard featured a different font and layout in keeping with the poet’s vision and work. Celebrated at Glass City Pavilion at Glass City Metropark, each poet debuted their poem alongside a slideshow highlighting park photos captured by renowned Toledo photographer, Doug Hinebaugh. The event opened with music by Thaddeus Washington, producer of Common Ground, an album featuring guitar and original recordings of nature sounds captured at various Toledo Metroparks. After the reading, the poets signed their postcards, which were distributed as a gift to the Toledo community. The program included introductory and concluding remarks by Matt Killiam, Chief Outreach Officer, and Julie E. Bloemeke--an Atlanta poet, Georgia Author of the Year Finalist in Poetry and Toledo native--who launched the #5poets5parks initiative with the Metroparks in 2023. Sold out two weeks in advance, over one-hundred Metroparks fans were in attendance, including Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who made a special appearance in support of National Poetry Month.

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