Dana Killmeyer, UNLV MFA studentThere’s a venerable tradition linking poetry and buses. We’ve posted on this topic before and here’s one more. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Dana Killmeyer, an MFA student at UNLV, decided to take poetry to the people, recruiting fellow poet Shannon Salter to read poems on board the bus known as the “Deuce.” Read more about their surprise performance in “Captive audience: An ambush poetry reading on the public bus.” For additional links to the poetry-bus tradition, read about the Wave Books Poetry Bus cross-country tour in 2006 (more on that from the Poetry Foundation) and on-the-bus readings in Vancouver, BC.
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Photo: Yasmina Chavez

rolling library

December 16, 2013

bus book rack, Hamburg

bus book rack, HamburgHave you ever finished a book in the middle of your bus ride and wished you had something to read (besides, of course, the wonderful poems posted above the windows)?

In Hamburg, Germany, bus riders can borrow a book from permanently installed racks (pictured).

The Anchorage, Alaska, Books on Buses program has outfitted each bus with a rack and “has a designated ‘Kids Reading Room’ area with a selection of age appropriate books.”

Buses in the Golden Empire Transit District (GET), serving the Bakersfield, California, area, feature The Reading Express, an on-board library geared for children from infants to 3rd grade.

And here’s a slightly different angle: In Seattle in 2012, Transportation Choices Coalition, King County Metro, and partners Richard Hugo House, King County Library System, and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association launched Books on the Bus, a community-wide book club for bus riders. Each quarter, the group chooses a new book for on-board discussion.

How’s your commute?
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photo / photo

Waiting*

June 19, 2013

Tom Villa-Lovoz ~ Waiting
2013 Merit Award
By Tom Villa-Lovoz

Seldom do we catch ourselves staring blankly
        Out the window’s passing scene.
Our closed little community
Pays scant tribute to Motion’s deft harmonies,
With pauses for lights and traffic.
It’s always the same people at 9:06
Traveling the same ten minutes together
In silent acknowledgement of our mutuality.
Moving…
Through space…
Warm against our frosted panes,
Effortlessly traversing time’s small corners.

Buses teach patience.
Our catechism takes place in quiet waiting
At the Stop.
“Where’s the bus?” (half-whispered)
“Comin’ soon.” (more hope than certitude)
We peer up the street searching
Over car roofs
For any hint of the broad logo
Announcing boldly in large letters:
331 DOWNTOWN
Then our comfort words arrive on time.

*Copyright 2013 by Tom Villa-Lovoz.
Placard design by Egress Studio; illustration by Angela Boyle, flyingdodopublications.com.