Poetry in the Parks

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As a poetry and literary arts ambassador for Fairfax County, Poet Laureate Danielle Badra launches
“Poetry in the Parks” 
in close partnership with ArtsFairfax and Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).

Fairfax Poet Laureate Danielle Badra shares Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day” at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, a “Poetry in the Parks” destination.

“Through poetry workshops, readings, and activities in the Parks, I want to illuminate how language and our natural environment can be a source of comfort and creativity. I derive a great deal of my poetic inspiration from nature and it is my hope to impart this same inspiration to the people of Fairfax County.”

-Danielle Badra

Badra begins her new initiative with three distinct events that invite area poets and parkgoers to consider the relationship between nature and poetry. By inviting guest poets to share their work in a natural setting that is at once intimate and expansive, Badra hopes to inspire park attendees to reflect on the environment around them and engage in reading, listening to, and writing poetry.

Poetry in the Parks Programming
Spring/Summer 2023


Upcoming Event:

Poetry Beneath the Stars
Turner Farm Park
Saturday, August 19, 2023

Have you ever found yourself gazing at the stars and wonder, Where do I fit in to this great expanse? How was this most magnificent artwork created? Fairfax Poet Laureate Danielle Badra invites stargazers to contemplate the cosmos through poetic form. Attendees will be provided with examples of star-gazing poetry and then given writing prompts to generate poems of their own while staring up at the marvelous milky way. This event will include a telescope viewing in the Roll Top Observatory, weather permitting. Rain date is Saturday, August 26.


Past Event:

Arab-American Heritage Month Poetry Reading
Featuring Zeina Azzam, Rayan Afif, and Danielle Badra
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly, VA
Saturday, April 15, 2023

To celebrate National Poetry Month and Arab-American Heritage Month, hear the works of local Arab-American poets Rayan Afif, Zeina Azzam (Alexandria Poet Laureate 2022-25), and Danielle Badra (Fairfax Poet Laureate 2022-24). Following the reading, parkgoers are invited to participate in a poetry writing workshop to learn and practice the Ghazal, an Arabic verse form with an intricate rhyme scheme.


Pride Month Poetry Reading
Featuring Sunu Chandy, Holly Mason Badra, Kim Roberts, and Malik Thompson
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly, VA
Saturday, June 24, 2023

June is Pride Month, celebrated each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which launched the queer liberation movement in the United States. Featuring some of the region’s most prominent LGBTQ+ poets, this reading lifts up a variety of voices and experiences to honor the rich legacy and contributions of poets and poetry in the queer community.

The first three events of more initiatives to come, these readings and workshops are programmed in close partnership with ArtsFairfax and FCPA. As with all FCPA programs, Poetry in the Parks was designed with accessibility in mind for visitors with disabilities.