Title

Reimagining Harrisburg's old eighth ward through poetry

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Abstract

Copyright © 2020 The Pennsylvania Historical Association. This article discusses how poetry helped a digital history project go public. In the spring of 2018 Messiah College's Center for Public Humanities began hosting poetry workshops for Harrisburg middle school students that focused on the vanished community of the Old Eighth Ward. With the help of the 1910 federal census data accessible through the Digital Harrisburg website, students engaged this little-known history of their hometown through field trips followed by poetry workshops. As students imagined the world through the lens of a person in the Old Eighth Ward, they drew on their own experiences and imagination. Published and performed for diverse audiences in different venues, these poems invite a wider public to rethink the City Beautiful movement as they reimagine the once vibrant community.

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