meanwhile, in Nashville…

December 29, 2018

The Poetry in Motion® program was launched in 1992 by the Poetry Society of America (PSA) and “is today one of the most popular public literary programs in American history.” We’ve mentioned it here before.

In most cities, winning poems appear on placards that are posted inside the buses. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Music City competition solicits poems of 25 words or less and the winning words are printed on the outside of the bus (as well as on placards, fare cards, and bus shelters). Fun!

If you are planning a trip to Manhattan, schedule a visit to the Transit Museum at Grand Central Terminal to see Poetry in Motion at 25. The exhibit celebrates 25 years of poetry displayed on subways and buses and features a broad range of the original Poetry in Motion car cards that have appeared in the New York City Transit system. See it by October 28, 2018.

More about Poetry in Motion here.

more poetry in motion

February 13, 2018

Yesterday, we mentioned the new installation of poems on buses and bus shelters in Olympia, Washington. In a followup to one of the nation’s most venerable transit-poem projects, Poetry in Motion on New York’s subways, here is a 16-minute WNYC link to an interview with Alice Quinn, the executive director of the Poetry Society of America and editor of The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years on Subways and Buses. In the interview, Quinn talks with Mary Harris about the origins and challenges of the program, hears from callers, and reads selected poems from the collection.

poetry on wheels

January 8, 2016

Bellingham Transit Company buses 1938

We have occasionally mentioned rider-friendly poetry that appears on buses, such as the winning poems from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest on Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) buses in Whatcom County, Poetry On Buses in Seattle, and Poetry in Plain Sight in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

An article in the January 3, 2016, Seattle Times, “Riders find the meter is running when they board Vancouver buses” (reprinted from The Columbian), announces the first round of Poetry Moves bus cards in Vancouver, Washington. While neighboring Portland, Oregon, has been part of the nationwide Poetry in Motion transit poetry program for a while, this is the inaugural ride for C-Tran in Vancouver. See the poems here. Organizers Christopher Luna and Toni Partington expect to move ahead with a second round later in 2016.

For more poetry on the move, there’s Poetry in Transit in British Columbia, which has been placing poetry in TransLink and BC Transit vehicles and transit shelters each year since 1996. There’s a PDF of each year’s car cards on the Poetry in Transit site.

The Athens, Ohio, On the Bus program places poems on the outside of buses and continues them on the windows.

In San Antonio, Texas, Poetry on the Move, now in its seventh year, places poems in buses and passenger vans during National Poetry Month.

Enjoy your ride!
. . . . .
WTA photo: brand new Bellingham Transit Company buses lined up in front of Bellingham High School, December 1938

such a good idea…

May 5, 2015

Poetry in Motion: The Poet Is In

It’s over, so don’t get too excited, but oh, to have been there… When poets leave their nests, typewriter in hand, anything can happen. For lucky New Yorkers who happened through Fulton Center between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on April 23, it was Poetry in Motion: The Poet is IN.

During those hours, with musical accompaniment, “an array of award-winning poets, including NY State Poet Laureate Marie Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sharon Olds, and Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Café, will sit in a booth (inspired by Lucy’s booth from the Peanuts comic strip) and write poems for those who request one.” Sponsored/produced by the Poetry Society of America in partnership with the MTA Arts & Design, the day’s events were part of MTA’s Poetry in Motion program, which, since 1992, has been placing poems in subway and rail cars, on kiosks, on the back of MetroCards and elsewhere.

Read more on the MTA site or listen to the story from NPR.

poetry in public…

April 27, 2012

Poetry in Motion
Bringing poetry into the public eye is a central element of the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. Occasionally on these pages we note other places that have made a commitment to poetry in public. Here’s one.

Between 1992 and 2008, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America, “brought more than 200 poems or excerpts before the eyes of millions of subway riders and rail commuters.” The program has been on hiatus since 2008, but has now been revived, beginning with a poster that combines art from “The Flora of Bensonhurst,” by Joan Linder, with the poem “Graduation,” by Dorothea Tanning, an American poet, writer and visual artist who died at the age of 101, in January 2012.

To see a larger image of the poster and learn more about the Arts for Transit program, see the MTA website. Find additional details in the New York Times. Plus, read the story in yesterday’s Gothamist, which explains that the selected poems will be screened in brief animations in New York’s taxicabs!

Egress Studio is working feverishly to design placards of the winning poems from the 2012 Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. We hope to have drafts on view at the awards ceremony, May 10, 2012, and have the poems installed in Whatcom County’s buses sometime in July.