The Poets’ Plaza is an outdoor gathering and performance space. Each bench is dedicated to one of the four elements – air, earth, fire and water. Lines of poetry by four famous poets – Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo and Jimmy Santiago Baca – decorate the benches. Local poets and parents from Harwood's Escuela del Sol Montessori helped choose the lines of poetry, and they stamped the verses into wet clay to make the tiles. Children at Escuela del Sol made tiles of animals, fish, plants, and planets to enhance the benches.
The north bench is dedicated to air, with four lines from Joy Harjo’s poem "The Book of Myths." To the east, lines from Rumi’s "Say, I Am You" are inscribed into the earth bench. An excerpt from Jimmy Santiago Baca’s "Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande" graces the south bench, dedicated to water. To the west, the fire bench contains Mary Oliver’s "The Summer Day."
Angelica Lucero, Jen Horne, and Kate Kennedy were assistant artists on this project. The Poets’ Plaza was funded by the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program.
Cassandra Reid is a public artist who believes that collaborative mosaic-making offers tremendous possibilities for personal transformation and community building. She loves to hear the stories people tell, and she enjoys facilitating ways for people to translate their ideas, histories, hopes and dreams into works of art. She has worked with over 3,000 people of all ages in neighborhoods, community centers, schools, treatment centers, and shelters.
Reid holds a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of New Mexico. In addition to making public art, she has exhibited her work in galleries nationally and internationally. She owns her business, Lotus Tileworks, and she is also the Executive Director of ALMA - Apprenticeships for Leaders in Mosaic Arts.