Harvest at Newfields is a month-long celebration with thousands of Indiana-grown pumpkins, a cornucopia with horticulture displays, art-making activities, and local vendors. For the festival, Big Car developed a collaborative poetry activity called the Tiny Poems Project. Known for its simplicity and lightness, the haiku was the perfect form of poetry to engage visitors in an approachable, playful, and creative activity.
Visitors were prompted by posts scattered throughout the grounds of Newfields to create and share their haikus. Participants sent their creations for us to broadcast on our radio station, 99.1 WQRT, throughout the month of October. With nearly 6,000 interactions, we broadcasted more than 100 poems for listeners to enjoy a brief and spontaneous snippet of poetry.
During the last two weekends of Harvest Festival, we teamed up with local poet, Ben Bernthal, to feature his work and the Strangers Poems project. Ben wrote dozens of original poems for participants based on just a few questions. During the festival’s final weekend, we DJ’ed the radio station live, playing poems and music, connecting with visitors, and sharing about WQRT.
Check out a few of the poems that participants created:
Your scorned aesthetic
Is welcomed here, warts and all-
Autumn’s beauty mark.
Shelter I have found
Though somehow made of pumpkins
The swans are still in the steady river
What if fall fell up
Leaves lofting like confetti
Bound for galaxies
“New Age Haze”
Chirps sound hazy, near
Sweet potato vines across
Warty goblin gourds.
Check out photos from the project here.