Celebrating the places where nature and urban life intersect, on January 27 the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy presents Corridors: Exploring the Urban Woodland. A night of nature poetry featuring Bay Area poets Gail Entrekin, Judy Halebsky, and Ainsley Kelly, the event focuses on “the precarious border between nature and development, and the interesting questions and realities that arise in such a place.”

“[The urban woodland] is about seeing nature in the city, and the relationship of humans with the land,” says Kelly, a senior English major at Santa Clara University. “It’s about being mindful of the history of the land and not just assuming that the city is how it’s always been.”

Bringing together poets, poetry lovers and nature appreciators, GRPC, a non-profit whose mission is to “provide community leadership for the development and active use of the park through education, advocacy and stewardship,” hopes to draw attention to the local urban woodland and all that it offers, as well as encourage participants to consider the effects of urbanization on the natural world. Poetry provides a means to do just that.

“Poetry is a great way of connecting with place,” Kelly says. “It can imagine different dimensions of a place rather that being straightforward. A lot of poetry is poetry of place,” she continues, “because our environments do have such a strong impact on us.”

In addition to presenting notable area poets, Corridors will have an open mic segment, offering aspiring poets a chance to read their own poems.

“It’s a great opportunity to share the work of working poets and give local poets an opportunity to share their work with the community,” says Kelly, who emphasizes the importance of making poetry a part of everyday life, and not just relegating it to the halls of academia. “It’s a place,” she adds, “that poetry can be alive in the community.”