A Community Poem

June 2021 Community Poem

On June 20, 2021 the community gathered at 214 South Main Street in Springdale, Arkansas for the first in-person Ozark Social hosted as a part of the Ozark Story Project. In celebration of community and the Summer Solstice a dozen brave storytellers took the stage to share about their Ozark experience through written word, song, poetry, and movement. During the program, we handed out slips of paper to the audience and asked them to write anonymously about what practices or mantras they might have developed for coping with the pandemic and the social landscape of 2020. Poet Noelia Cerna gathered the slips of paper from the audience members and arranged them into a Community Poem that she recited back to them.

In October 2020, residents of the Ozarks were invited to answer the question: “What makes the Ozarks home for you?”

Poet Noelia Cerna collected the written responses and, without manipulation, composed a community poem. Cradled by the tree in her backyard in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Noelia recites the Community Poem.