Collinsville poet and author David K. Leff has been named as the “poet in residence” for the nation’s newest national scenic trail, the New England Trail (NET).
The NET—a combination of the blue-blazed Metacomet, Mattabesett, and Menunkatuck Trails in Connecticut—winds 215 miles through 41 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including Southington mountain. The trail system is maintained in Connecticut by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) in a three-way partnership that includes the National Park Service and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) which maintains the northern section of the NET in Massachusetts.
The nation’s trails have long offered inspiration for artists, photographers, and writers, and Leff has been selected to serve as the trail’s poet for one year, beginning Oct. 15. He was was selected due to his extensive experience as a hiker, natural resource conservationist, and nature poet.
As Poet in Residence for the NET, Leff will be leading poetry-based hikes, conducting nature poetry writing workshops, and more.
Charlie Tracy, Superintendent of the New England National Scenic Trail for the National Park Service, remarked in a press release that Leff’s residency “will offer both seasoned hikers and new visitors new paths to experience the trail’s deep beauty and its multi-layered history.”
To celebrate this occasion, CFPA will be hosting a kick-off event at its headquarters in Middlefield on Nov. 29, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., featuring poetry readings by Leff and CT Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin of Simsbury, and a narrated slide show of the New England Trail.