In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, the Academy of American Poets commissioned fifty poets to write poems about a park in each of the fifty states. This project is part of Imagine Your Parks, a grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts created in partnership with the National Park Service to support projects that use the arts to engage people with the memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System.

Among those commissioned to contribute a poem to the project is Arizona’s Poet Laureate, Alberto Álvaro Ríos. His poem, “Faithful Forest,” was inspired by the Petrified Forest.

In his notes on the poem, Ríos observed, “Arizona is a place in which the human imagination is called upon to be complicit in understanding that this desert once was—so magically in this arid place, this very specific place—a forest.”

You can read more about the project at