I love it when my different obsessions converge. Not only is there a website where poetry and maps shack up together, but they are doing it for free. If you click here and then go to "A Sense of Place" and wait for the page to load, you will have the first of its kind - a Google poetry map of Washington State -- or any state that I'm aware of. Hover the cursor over the region of Washington State you want to read poems about and be rewarded with poems by Elizabeth Austen, Ann Teplick, Oliver de la Paz, Dan Peters, and Peter Pereira to name but a few great state poets.
My friend Katharine Whitcomb (superb poet) and her friend, Bob Hickey (real cartographer) have collaborated to create a map of Washington State on google maps and they've also curated a wonderful anthology of poems on place. If you search the sample poems on the left hand side of the map you will find poems about White Swan, WA (Allen Braden), Richland, WA (Kathleen Flenniken) and Seattle's Museum of Flight (Susan Rich).
Creative projects that emerge from unusual collaborations make me incredibly happy. The world of poetry becomes rooted in the particular coordinates of place and in turn, cartography becomes a thing of art. Katharine Whitcomb is a genius of collaboration having worked this summer with an artist in San Diego to create miniature poems for new museum "scents." (More on this soon).
In the meantime I would love to hear about other artistic collaborations between poets and others. I'm on the lookout for something brand new. Thank you Kathy and Bob for making this project available.http://www.katharinewhitcomb.com/geospatial.html