Bloom: Botanically-Inspired Online Poetry Workshop

Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 7:00 pm

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry series and the U.S. Botanic Garden will partner to create two online poetry workshops entitled Bloom that explore the natural world through poetry. 

On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, poet Sherwin Bitsui joins U.S. Botanic Garden Horticulturist Adam Pyle for an online poetry workshop that will explore the natural world with prompts from the U.S. Botanic Garden. The workshop will focus on one of the many galleries inside the U.S. Botanic Garden: The Tropics, The Garden Primeval, the cacti of World Deserts, Medicinal Plants, and Orchids.

Bitsui and Pyle will probe the powerful link between the natural and poetic worlds. Following the discussion, workshop participants will hear the poet read his work as they begin to contemplate their own writing. Participants will take inspiration from a natural object within the Botanic Garden or from their own surroundings. Participants will have the opportunity to write their own poems as part of the workshop.

The cost for the workshop is $75, with a discount for Folger and U.S. Botanic Garden members and Folger subscribers. 

Spaces in the workshop are available for Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) participants and for those who can only participate on a sliding scale. Please contact Teri Cross Davis for more information. 

This program is a collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Sherwin Bitsui is the author of two volumes, Flood Song and Shapeshift. Bitsui has been noted for his poetry that “returns things to their basic elements and voice in flowing language rife with illuminating images” (Library Journal). The recipient of a Whiting Award, an American Book Award, and the PEN Book Award, he is Diné (Navaho) of the Todí­ch’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizí­laaní­ (Many Goats Clan).




In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden

Steeped in history, rich with tradition, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems. More than 200 years ago, George Washington had a vision for the capital city of the United States that included a botanic garden that would demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is the oldest continuously operating botanic garden in the United States. Since 1934, it has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol.



Purchase Your Copy

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series is pleased to partner with East City Bookshop, an independently run, women owned bookstore on Capitol Hill. Pickup is available at the shop, or they ship (almost) anywhere! Check their website,