Arts & Events manager,
City of Olympia
The City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation’s Poet Laureate Program and Intercity Transit are launching a new collaborative project, “Poetry Rides the Bus.” Through this project, transit riders have the opportunity to discover 22 different poems, written by local community members, which are on display at bus stops across the City of Olympia and inside the 71-bus fleet run by Intercity Transit. The literary art display brings uplifting messages to the community.
“Intercity Transit strives to provide superior community service and part of that effort is to make our transit environment pleasant. ‘Poetry Rides the Bus’ is a good fit for our mission and fun for our riders. We’re delighted to be involved in the project that helps connect the community to poetry,” says Intercity Transit General Manager Ann Freeman-Manzanares.
The City of Olympia’s Poet Laureate Program aims to promote poetry as an art form, expand access to the literary arts and use poetry as a community voice that contributes to a sense of place. Last summer, with those goals in mind, the City of Olympia solicited the community for poems to display. The criteria for the poetry was that it needed to be uplifting and inspirational. More than 120 people submitted poems, with the City of Olympia’s poet laureate, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, selecting the final 22.
“Poetry Rides the Bus’ and ‘Poetry at the Bus Stop’ continues Olympia’s commitment to community engagement through poetry and the arts, said Solomon-Minarchi. “Poets from across Olympia wrote to the distinct nature and treasure that we call home. Thank you poets—keep capturing the moments and intricacies of our city.»
Some of the poem titles and poets include “Listen to the Moon” by Sandra Bates, “Living in Olympia Has Made Me a Better Person” by Linda Chandler Smith and “Ride the Bus, It’s a Plus” by Martiquita Rossman. A complete list of the 22 poems and their locations can be found at olympiawa.gov/poetlaureate and intercitytransit.com/bus/poetry-rides-the-bus.
A reading of the “Poetry Rides the Bus” selections took place on Saturday, February 10 at The Olympia Center in downtown Olympia.