Celebrating Six Door County Poet Laureates

poetry trail

In mid-July, Write On Door County installed a new exhibit along the Poetry Trail honoring six writers who have served as Poet Laureates of Door County: Frances May, Barbara Larsen, Estella Lauter, Ralph Murre, Sharon Auberle, and Nancy Rafal. The Poet Laureate serves as a literary ambassador to the community by encouraging and supporting local poets; building an audience for poetry; and working with community agencies, schools, libraries, and other groups to include poetry workshops and readings. This series of poems will be displayed through mid-October 2020.

The Poetry Trail at Newport State Park began in 2010 as a joint project of local poetry groups and the Newport Wilderness Society. Since 2016, the trail has become a program of Write On Door County. The trail is a ¾ mile level loop and can be accessed via the Visitors Center parking area (Lot 1). The trail wanders through a wooded area and out into open land. The ten stanchions along the path allow visitors an opportunity to slow down and experience poetry within the beauty of nature.


Whatever you do in this life,
never ignore small miracles
like this flock of white pelicans
soaring in circles overhead,
their great bodies backlit
by the sun, radiance pouring
down through their wings
in waterfalls of light.

Consider there might be
angels among them,
but even if you don’t find angels,
know your heart has been softened
by these immense beings of grace.

Please do not dismiss such gifts,
for rarely are we so blessed.
And oh, don’t turn away
and resume your small life,
instead, rise up, for a little while
as if you had seven foot wings,
as if you realized, finally,
we are all made of light.