by Laura Hutson
Those of us familiar with the mass transit systems in New York, Chicago or L.A. know that the Poetry in Motion program is a much needed break from the commercial monotony we're all subjected to through bus and train advertisements. Instead of ads for beers and weird local aestheticians, you can get schooled on intimate, insightful poems. And even when you hate them, you've still got something fun to talk about with strangers on your morning commute.
Nashville's Metro Arts is doing Poetry in Motion one better — they're turning the program into a contest. The winning poems will be featured in buses that run throughout the city, and we'll be listing each of them here on Country Life throughout the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. From Metro Arts' press release:
Metro Arts, Nashville Metro Transit Authority (MTA) and Nashville Scene have teamed up to bring the Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion® program to Nashville for the second year.
Created in 1992, 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.
Emerging and established poets in Nashville are invited to submit entries to be considered for the 2013 program. Ten finalists will be selected whose poems will be printed and displayed in MTA buses to be read by MTA’s 800,000 riders during the month of April, which is National Poetry Month.
Entry guidelines for the contest are below. Good luck!
• The Nashville Poetry in Motion® Contest is open to residents of Davidson County.
• Poems that may have been published are eligible.
• Submissions must original works and the author must have all the rights to the poem.
• Winners must sign an agreement letter granting Metro Arts, MTA and Nashville Scene permission to print and display poems. If the author is less than 18 years old, the author and his/her parent or guardian must sign the permission letter.
• Poems will be judged on originality and style by a jury panel of local authors and poetry enthusiasts.
• Poems should be no longer than 60 words or 10 lines.
• Any poem submitted must be suitable for public display, to be determined at the sole discretion of Metro Arts and MTA.
• Poems in multiple languages are encouraged. If submitting a poem in a language other than English please provide an English translation. Winning poems will be printed in their native language.
• Please note, at the sole discretion of Metro Arts, that if the eligibility, criteria or submission requirements are not followed, the poem will be disqualified.
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted online via this link. All submissions must be received no later than March 8, 2013.