Charlottesville Transit Service (CTS) and Bus Lines invite the public to catch some poetry when they catch the bus, with a second round of original poems displayed on CTS buses through the Bus Lines poetry project. Held last fall, the group’s most recent contest solicited entries of original, transportation-themed poems from the community.
Seventy-nine poets in Charlottesville and Albemarle submitted 119 entries. Of these, 40 winning poems by 36 authors were selected for display on board CTS buses this winter. Twenty-five of the winning poems were written by area students.
The winning poets are: Emma Arata, Felix Barrientos, Jacob Bollinger, Robert Brickhouse, Taylor Brownrigg, Rueben Chapman, Rakitha Chelliah, Ryan Cox, Anne Cressin, Chau Dao, Kendall Dennis, Hanz Ellis, Roy L. Fitch, Sr., Adam Geilker, Dr. Robert Gest III, Bryan Hancock, Sarah Hart, Joseph Hyltan, Nicolas Kasten, Molly Lane, Olivia Levine, Jnanam MacIsaac, Logan Mills, Eric Nissen, Quadazha Parker, Susan Patrick, Vance Pilkington, Heidi Poon, Kristen Rembold, Lisa Ryan, William Sessoms, Sydney Sparks, Al Tenhundfeld, Hilda Ward, Michael Willson, and Omar Winstead.
With transportation as the creative starting point, subjects of the winning poems range from transit travel by bus or train to biking, road trips, and traffic, and even include more philosophical musings on journeys through life. Poster-size versions of the poems are now installed on 24 City buses.
In addition to the on-bus displays, Bus Lines is coordinating with the Virginia Festival of the Book to showcase the work of the winning poets. More details will be announced closer to the Festival dates in March.
Bus Lines is already looking ahead to the next contest targeting community poets, which will have a theme of “Green” and is tentatively planned to be held during National Poetry Month in April.
The Bus Lines collaboration with CTS grew out of a class project for the City of Charlottesville’s Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), an annual six-month program offered to provide local citizens with the information and skills needed to become more involved in shaping the City and its future.
The Bus Lines team hopes to engage area poets, both from schools and within the community, through a unique opportunity to display their work for the public. The program began with a display of original poetry from Charlottesville City Schools students on board CTS buses in Summer 2009.