Poetry as a Bridge…

Portsmouth Poet Laureate Tammi Truax has announced “Poetry as a Bridge” as her laureate project.

Bridge #1 … Poetry as a Bridge to new Americans

This bridge was the first part of the project and was done in partnership with the New Hampshire Humanities Council and Portsmouth Adult Education.

Bridge #2 … Poetry as a Bridge to Babies

The second Bridge project rolled out in late 2019. It involves a book being gifted to every baby born at Portsmouth hospital with a card attached. It’s meant to foster a love of the written world for the smallest among us.

Bridge #3 … Poetry as a Bridge to Japan

Everyone in our community in invited to participate in this project of building a bridge to Japan. My objective is to build our community by developing our relationship with our sister city of Nichinan*. I will lead us in doing so through a variety of endeavors that are related to poetry. I am also asking businesses and organizations in the greater Seacoast area to join us in this year of community building in learning about and celebrating Japan by planning their own related activities for the public and sharing them with us.

We have so much to learn by studying another culture. We have so many poems to write. We have so many friends to make. Let’s build this bridge!

* Portsmouth and Nichinan, Japan, have been sister cities since 1985

Below I will log our bridge building accomplishments in chronological order:

Oct. 28, 2019 – I was appointed by Mayor Blalock to serve on the Portsmouth Sister Cities and Citizen Diplomacy Blue Ribbon Committee at a City Council meeting.

Dec. 1, 2019 – I agreed to serve as a chaperone for the PHS delegation going to Nichinan in April. I will be leading students and chaperones in writing exercises during the trip and The Portsmouth Herald will be publishing our writing and photos while we are away. I will be staying with a host writer and will make connections for other aspects of the project.

Dec. 7, 2019G. Williker’s! Toy Shop has agreed to collaborate with the PPLP. We have several ideas in the works which will be so much fun as together we celebrate Children’s Day on May 3, 2020. Children’s Day is a national holiday in Japan and we plan to have a cross-cultural celebration this year!

Dec. 11, 2019 – The Padlet I created for everyone has been sent to every educator in the Portsmouth School System. There are suggestions for involving students of all ages in the project. Here is the link: https://padlet.com/ttruaxsau52/4r6xawqhxc5g Please share it with anyone you think may be interested. It is a collaborative tool that others can add to.

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