The Austin Poetry Society announced the Poetry with Wheels contest winning poems, which will be posted onboard Capital Metro's entire fleet of buses in October. The contest attracted 70 poets, most of them bus riders, who submitted 314 poems. Two nationally-recognized poets judged the entries and selected 20 poems in both English and Spanish for display onboard buses.
The winning poets and judges were announced at a poetry reading and awards ceremony at Crystal Auditorium. Additionally, the first five completed poetry signs for installation on Capital Metro buses were unveiled. Some of the winning poets installed their poem placards on a Capital Metro bus at the conclusion of the event. The event was hosted in conjunction with the Austin International Poetry Festival at venues throughout Austin that attract hundreds of poets from all over the world.
Capital Metro partnered with the Austin Poetry Society (APS) to bring poetry onboard its buses. Per the partnership agreement, APS produced the interior bus signs, and Capital Metro waived the costs for the advertising space and the sign installation.
"The partnership with Austin Poetry Society will provide a lasting benefit for our riders, who can be delighted every time they board one of our buses with thoughtful, artistic poetry," said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. "Capital Metro supports the arts and has been exploring avenues of incorporating more art on our fleet and at our facilities."
The signs feature 10 winning poems submitted in the contest and an additional two poems penned by Austin elementary students in a separate APS partnership with Badgerdog Literary Publications. The Austin Poetry Society anticipates producing a second batch of signs featuring another 12 poems next spring.
Local artist and poet Christine Gilbert designed the signs for each featured poem.
"The Austin Poetry Society aims to encourage more people to write, read and love poetry as we do," noted APS President Elzy Cogswell. "Many of the winning poets told us they had never submitted a poem before, and we are excited to bring their poetry to fellow Capital Metro riders, every day."