In January 2020, the Outreach and Engagement Team at the College of the Holy Cross began preparing a poetry walk, which was reconfigured to a social media “poetry event” due to COVID-19. With the anticipated return of students to campus for the Spring 2021 semester and a need for the community (especially students) to have recreational opportunities that were safe, socially distanced and preferably outside, the Team attempted for a second time to plan a poetry walk. CrossWorks, the institutional repository for the College, was a part of this plan from the beginning. Foremost, CrossWorks would support the scholarly and creative work of the community as a preservation and access tool for the project. Just as importantly however, the IR could serve as the means for members of the community who were still dispersed, not yet back to campus, or coming to campus infrequently to enjoy the walk virtually. The Outreach and Engagement Team collaborated with both academic and non-academic departments to assemble a mile-long loop through campus featuring original student poetry and poetry from the library’s Distinctive Collections. The project was very successful. It was also a great way to promote CrossWorks and solicit more scholarly work as the academic year came to a close. Most rewarding has been the feedback from students and faculty, who appreciated the poetry walk as a way to feel connected to campus and community despite the many ways people were disconnected.
Link to Campus Poetry Walk: http://crossworks.holycross.edu/poetry2021
Link to article about Campus Poetry Walk: https://hcspire.com/2021/05/07/behind-the-story-of-the-poetry-walk/
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Villa, Lisa, "Campus Poetry Walk: (Re)creating and Reconnecting a Community (Presentation)" (2021). Staff publications. 13.