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PRHS senior's poem featured in Charlotte poetry installation

Twelfth grade student Ginnie Van de Riet recently made her mark on uptown Charlotte. A line from her poem, “Eulogy for the Self," was featured asGinnie Van de Riet's poem installation a part of the project Of Earth and Sky currently on display in Uptown. Of Earth and Sky is a poetry installation that has taken lines from poems written by authors in Charlotte and the surrounding areas and exhibited them in a physical format all across Uptown's parks and public spaces. The project originated in the U.K. in 2020 and has come to Charlotte after its major success. 

A line from Van de Riet’s poem can be seen ascending the wall of the Foundations of the Carolinas Building. Van de Riet was able to visit the installation for the first time recently and when asked about what that experience was like, stated, “It was so cool and a little freaky seeing my writing displayed in a public space. Having it in such a prominent place in Uptown especially excited me."

Poetry is a very meaningful form of expression for Van de Riet and she has been writing poetry casually since middle school but has begun to write more in the past year. When asked what has drawn her to use poetry as a form of expression, she said, “It's like a puzzle- figuring out the right number of syllables to fit the meter, finding the perfect word, the perfect rhyme scheme...The finished product is always so satisfying and allows me to express myself in a way people might better understand."

She was surprised to learn that her poetry would even be featured, saying, “I submitted my poem on a whim, not expecting much, so it was really surprising when I got the email that it had been selected." The overwhelmingly positive response from family and peers has also been a surprise. Van de Riet hopes that by sharing a piece of herself with the world others will feel encouraged to share their art. Her final words on the experience were “...step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. Who knows? Maybe it'll turn out well in the end.”

The Of Earth and Sky installation will be up through the end of October. To learn more about the project and watch a video of Van de Riet reciting her poem, visit ofearthandskyclt.com.  

Written by Audrey Ansel-12th grade student