The Language of Conservation
News and Events
Bee Pollinator Aware
As part of the Language of Conservation initiative, the Brookfield Zoo has partnered with the Library, the Brookfield Conservation Commission, the Riverside Public Library, and Cantata to promote the importance of pollinators and their connection to pollinators, like the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, a native Midwestern pollinator that is now on the endangered species watch list. Stay tuned for more information and programming related to this initiative.
Say It In Seven Poetry Contest Winners:
Adult: Home by Jeanne Delagardelle
Young Adult: Zachary Colvin
Youth: Benjamin Mathis
About the Project
The Brookfield Public Library has partnered with the Brookfield Zoo and Riverside Public Library for The Language of Conservation, a project that aims to deepen public awareness of conservation efforts through poetry. Developed as a program by Poets House and the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Central Park Zoo, research demonstrated that people who encountered poetry as part of their zoo experience left with a better understanding of the importance of conservation, and their role in it.
Supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, five poets will be working with five zoos around the country to replicate the original New York proejct: Alison Deming in Jacksonville, Pattiann Rogers in Milwaukee, Joe Bruchac in Little Rock, Mark Doty in Louisiana, and Sandra Alcosser in Brookfield. The celebrated poets will act as Poets-in-Residence in the zoos, collaborating with wildlife biologists and exhibit designers to curate zoo installations with poems that celebrate the natural world and the connection between species.
Brookfield residents can see the installation of The Language of Conservation graphics in the new Great Bear Wilderness exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo and throughout the Brookfield Public Library. These graphics include poetry that reflects on the beauty of the natural world and its risk of destruction. To find the complete poems in sources at the Brookfield Public Library, follow the link on the resource title.
- *Sandra Alcosser: "Skiing by Moonlight." Except By Nature. (Photo)
- Sandra Alcosser: “What Makes the Grizzlies Dance.” Except By Nature. (Photo)
- W. H. Auden: “Woods.” Collected Poems.
- Wendell Berry: “To the Unseeable Animal.” The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. (Photo)
- Gwendolyn Brooks: “Big Bessie Throws Her Son into the Street.” The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks.
- *John Clare: "To Wordsworth." The Penguin Book of the Sonnet. (Photo)
- Emily Dickinson: “[Hope is the thing with feathers].” The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. (Photo)
- *Emily Dickinson: "Nature XCVII." The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. (Photo)
- *Paul Laurence Dunbar: "Evening." The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. (Photo)
- *Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Hamatreya." Emerson: Poems. (Photo)
- *Robert Frost: "Tree at My Window." The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems. (Photo)
- Joy Harjo: “Eagle Poem.” In Mad Love and War.
- Hermann Hesse: “Sometimes.” Trans. Robert Bly. News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness. (Photo)
- Jane Hirshfield: “Seventeen Pebbles.” After: Poems. (Photo)
- Robinson Jeffers: “The Answer.” The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers.
- Galway Kinnell: “Under the Maud Moon.” The Book of Nightmares. (Photo)
- Gary Lawless: “Treat Each Bear as the Last Bear.” Grrrrr: A Collection of Poems about Bears.
- Federico Garcia Lorca: “Half Moon.” The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca. Trans. W. S. Merwin. (Photo)
- Maria Melendez: “Aullido.” How Long She'll Last in This World.
- W. S. Merwin: “Witness.” Migration: New & Selected Poems.
- *Edna St. Vincent Millay: "Afternoon on a Hill." Collected Poems. (Photo)
- Edna St. Vincent Millay: “Renascence.” Collected Poems. (Photo)
- Pablo Neruda: Memoirs. Trans. Hardie St. Martin.
- Mary Oliver: “Sleeping in the Forest.” Twelve Moons. (Photo)
- Sylvia Plath: “I Am Vertical.” Collected Poems. (Photo)
- Antonio Porchia: Voices: Aphorisms. Trans. W. S. Merwin. (Photo)
- Carl Sandburg: “Poems Done on a Late Night Car.”Chicago Poems. (Photo)
- *Robert Service: "The Call of the Wild." The Collected Poems of Robert Service. (Photo)
- *William Shakespeare: Timon of Athens. (Photo)
- John E. Smelcer: “On Feet of Clouds.” The Language Raven Gave Us.
- Gary Snyder: “By Frazier Creek Falls.” Turtle Island. (Photo)
- Luci Tapahonso: “A Blessing.” A Radiant Curve: Poems and Stories.
- Margaret Tsuda: “Hard Questions.” Room for Me and a Mountain Lion: Poetry of Open Space. (Photo)
- Pamela Uschuk: “Wolf Lecture.” Comeback Wolves. (Photo)
- David Wagoner: “Lost.” Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems.
*Poetry installed at the Brookfield Public Library
Brookfield's Poet-in-Residence, Sandra Alcosser
Sandra Alcosser was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She has published seven books of poetry, including A Fish to Feed All Hunger and Except by Nature, which have been selected for the National Poetry Series, the Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award, the Larry Levis Award, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Poetry, and the William Stafford Award from Pacific Northwest Booksellers. She is the National Endowment for the Arts’ first Conservation Poet for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Poets House, New York, as well as Montana’s first poet laureate and recipient of the Merriam Award for Distinguished Contribution to Montana Literature.
The Language of Conservation in the News
Bookfield Zoo Language of Conservation Partnership. Christina Stoll, Metropolitan Library System. June 9, 2010.
Brookfield Zoo, libraries partner on conservation exhibit. Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 30, 2010.
"Come for the Oaks, Stay for the Fun," Suburban Life. July 21, 2010.
Poems for Where the Wild Things Are: Conservation poet Sandra Alcosser inspires her audience to become engaged with the natural world. 360 Magazine, November 4, 2009.