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Poetry in Motion®

Poetry in Motion bus drawing

Nashville has been a proud participant in the national Poetry in Motion® program since 2012.

Created in 1992 by the Poetry Society of America, Poetry in Motion® was designed to showcase classic and contemporary poetry in public transit vehicles. The program has appeared in more than 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., and made its debut on Nashville MTA vehicles in 2012.

Poetry in Motion® 2019 Day of Celebration: "Popcorn and Poetry"

Metro Arts and WeGo Transit invite all of Nashville to indulge in "Popcorn and Poetry" to celebrate:

  • Thursday, April 4, 4:00 p.m.
  • WeGo Central Plaza, 400 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd (formerly Charlotte Ave.), adjacent to Municipal Auditorium
  • Refreshments from Kernels Popcorn to be served
  • Rain location, Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street, 2nd floor Special Collections Center

We will honor the student and adult winners of the citywide poetry contests, tour the wrapped Poetry Bus, and Southern Word is leading a poetry and music performance open-mic called a cypher.

Other Poetry In Motion® Events

On Wednesdays, April 10, 17, and 24, 2019 Southern Word will be hosting poetry cyphers from 4:15-5:15 p.m. Ride the bus to WeGo Central and participate in this informal poetry event that encourages bus riders and all Nashville community members to enjoy each others' poetry, perform their own poetry, and enjoy music from the cypher DJ.

Students’ Poems to Appear in On-Board Advertisements and on Poetry Bus

Southern Word, Inc. collaborated with Metro Arts to engage Nashville in a city-wide poetry contest for youth, ages 13 to 17. Southern Word received almost 100 and selected ten winners that will be featured on the Poetry in Motion® wrapped bus and in the advertising spaces on the buses. The winners of the city-wide youth poetry contest are:

  1. Dereen Shirnekhi- John Overton High School
  2. Trish Nguyen- John Overton High School
  3. Leela Sneed-Zamudio- Lead Academy
  4. Ren Peters- Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet
  5. Iman Omer- Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet
  6. Yulissa Mata- Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet
  7. Tajuan Jordan- John Early Museum Magnet
  8. Rogelio Cortez Cuevas- John Overton High School
  9. De'Monsha Anderson- Head Magnet Middle Prep
  10. El Bethel Aberra- Head Middle Magnet Prep

Adults’ Poems to Appear on Transit Stops

The Porch Writer’s Collective, in collaboration with Metro Arts, engaged the community in a city-wide poetry contest open to adult community members. The winning poems are being turned into beautiful illustrations by artist Michael "Ol'Skool" Mucker and are being installed on transit shelters throughout the city (maps to come). The 10 winning poets whose poetry will be featured are:

  1. Ellen Niarhos
  2. Caroline DuBois
  3. Dana Malone
  4. Josh Lefkowitz
  5. Leah Sherry
  6. Aaron Rogge
  7. Angie Marie Gonzalez
  8. Nicole Branigan
  9. Thomas Hrycyk
  10. Queenester Wyatt