Metro Celebrates LA ArtsDay and National Poetry Month


The words of a great poet can transfix the reader. A poem placed in the line of vision of a bus passenger can be a gift; a brief escape from or a complement to the day. For the past 16 years Metro bus riders have enjoyed over 100 poems placed directly in their path in the interiors of Metro buses through Poetry in Motion/LA™.

Poetry in Motion/LA™ is a collaboration of the Poetry Society of America and Metro. Every three months a new poem is selected and mounted on colorful placards in empty advertising space on 2,500 Metro buses to be enjoyed by over one million riders daily. Poems are selected by the Poetry Society of America, which chooses recognized works that are relatively short, upbeat and representative of the demographic diversity of the Los Angeles area. Several of the poems are in Spanish.

Among poets whose works are represented in the program are e.e. cummings, Octavio Paz, and Langston Hughes as well as noted Southern California poets Chungmi Kim, Quincy Troupe, and Michelle Serros.

Metro invites you to celebrate National Poetry Month during the month of April and to keep your eye out for the latest Poetry in Motion/LA™ poetry placard, Jane Hirshfield’s Green-Striped Melons (pictured above).

In celebration of both National Poetry Month and ArtsDay, Metro Art will distribute bookmarks with poems on ArtsDay at Union Station East (by the Metro Customer Center) in Los Angeles from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., Friday, April 11.

ArtsDay began three years ago and is an annual opportunity for Angelenos to celebrate the contributions of arts and culture to the community.Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

To learn more about the national Poetry in Motion® program and to find a list of cities, poems and posters that have appeared in the program please click here.