Haiku Pathway – Santa Fe, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Haiku Pathway

A serene garden path lined with 36 haiku stamped into clay stones. 


Along this pathway paved with poetry, 36 stones are scattered through the main courtyard of Santa Fe Community College. Each stone is engraved with a haiku, written by students at the school and notable poets from New Mexico.

The Haiku Pathway was created by artist Christy Hengst and poet Miriam Sagan, the project’s poetry curator. The mix of poems (some using a more contemporary form that doesn’t strictly adhere to the 5/7/5 syllable form) describe the site’s surroundings, from mountains to student life, but are also a mix of whimsy, reflection, and humor.

Hengst chose to make the stones from clay, hand-stamping the text into the clay. In an interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican, she said she chose clay rather than carved stone or cement because “It’s softer and it has a slightly more natural or ephemeral feeling. We thought the pieces would look like mushrooms here.”

The clay stones dot the path giving visitors a chance to walk slowly through the installation, taking in each verse. 

Know Before You Go

Santa Fe Community College is open every day but Sunday, but the courtyard is never locked and is open to public.

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