Poems on buses
August 01st, 2023
The line-up for the 2023/24 Poetry in Transit program, sponsored by the Association of Book Publishers of BC (Books BC), Translink and BC Transit, has been announced.
Now celebrating its 27th year, this community-engagement project is an opportunity to showcase BC’s regional poets. Each year, Books BC invites submissions of BC-authored poems from Canadian publishers and selects 10 local poets (including Megan Fennya Jones in 2023/24, pictured at right, photo by Ian Lanterman) to be featured in the campaign. A collection of bus cards featuring the poetry selections are produced and placed on transit vehicles across the province for riders to discover. The bus cards also feature the work of local photographers sourced through an Instagram photo competition led by TransLink and paired with the chosen poems by a jury.
The 2023/24 Poetry in Transit selected poets and featured books are:
Susan Braley, Victoria Tilling the Darkness (Caitlin Press & Dagger Editions)
P.W. Bridgman, Vancouver Idiolect (Ekstasis Editions)
Robert Bringhurst, Heriot Bay The Ridge (Harbour Publishing)
Edward Byrne, Vancouver Tracery (Talonbooks)
Megan Fennya Jones, Vancouver The Program (Goose Lane Editions)
Mark Leiren-Young, Victoria Big Sharks, Small World (Orca Book Publishers)
Emily Osborne, Bowen Island Safety Razor (Gordon Hill Press)
Kirsten Pendreigh, Vancouver Best Canadian Poetry 2021 (Biblioasis)
Sharon Thesen, Prince George Refabulations: Selected Longer Poems (Talonbooks)
Ian Thomas, Vancouver Green Islands: Poems from the Great Bear Rainforest (Rainbow Publishers & Raven Chapbooks)
Poetry in Transit has been running since 1996, making it the longest-running poetry on transit program in Canada. Poems eligible for the project must be by BC-based writers and published in book form by Canadian publishers. Poems are submitted by publishers and selected by a jury. The 2023/24 jury included poets Evelyn Lau and Rob Taylor.
To celebrate the 27th year of Poetry in Transit, the “Poetry Bus!” acts as the campaign launch event, which takes place at the Word Vancouver Reading and Writing Festival at UBC Robson Square. On Saturday, September 16th at 12:45 p.m., a selection of the 2023/24 featured poets will participate in a reading hosted by former Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Attendees can also view the complete collection of selected poems displayed onboard the Poetry Bus parked at the venue.
Those reading poems on the bus are invited to share their sightings of the 2023/24 Poetry in Transit bus cards throughout Metro Vancouver and BC using the #PoetryInTransit hashtag on social media channels.
About Books BC
Founded in 1974, the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (Books BC) represents 25 BC-owned companies. Books BC supports the aspirations and activities of its membership through cultural, economic and political initiatives and engages book-related communities in British Columbia, Canada, and beyond.
TransLink is Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, and is the first North American transportation authority to be responsible for the planning, financing and managing of all public transit in addition to major regional roads and bridges.