Published on October 15, 2021

Poetry on the Trail

Poetry kiosk display on a trail at Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary

Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary is honored to serve as a partner site for the Attleboro Public Library and the National Endowment for the Arts' annual Big Read event. This year’s selection is United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's book of poems An American Sunrise.

An American Sunrise

In this collection, Harjo returns to Okfuskee, near present-day Dadeville, Alabama, where her ancestors were forcibly removed by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The collection is prefaced with a short prologue about her ancestors’ removal and a map of the Trail of Tears, the difficult series of trails over 1,000 miles long, taken by foot during their forced relocation. Several thousand indigenous people died as a result of this journey.

Along the Trail

Oak Knoll is displaying selected poems from An American Sunrise along with poems created by local students on our 1-mile Talaquega Trail. You’ll find display cases along the way that each feature one of Joy Harjo’s poems alongside a poem by an Attleboro Public Schools student. The student works were created under the theme “Identity” and inspired by Harjo’s work. Attleboro’s 1ABC Committee, who oversees the town’s annual Big Read event, selected the featured student poems.

Please come visit and enjoy the thoughts, imagery, and creativity of all the poets! These works will remain on display through September 2022.