Laurin Macios of Mass Poetry takes a selfie beside one of the poems on the MBTA. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Instead of sweating and swearing on the T this summer, passengers can soothe themselves by reading insightful words of wisdom on trolley walls.
Mass Poetry, a group that launched six years ago to celebrate the art of poetry, kicked off Poetry on the MBTA in April in recognition of national poetry month.
After the pilot month, the group launched an IndiGoGo campaign that raised well over the organization’s goal of $9,000. More than 200 contributors donated $9,895 to keep poems on display on trolley ad space through the summer.
"We are so excited that Boston rallied behind Poetry on the T to build a summer of public poetry,” said Mass Poetry Program Director Laurin Macios. “This effort will help us show large, long-term sponsors that people want poems in place of ads.”
Keychains, mugs, poetry workshops and a private reading by three time U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky were among the incentives on IndieGoGo.
“We take these little chunks of time that are on the subway you can just waste it spend scrolling through Facebook timeline,” said Jill McDonough, a UMass Boston poetry professor who offered a "Super Writing Fun Time” workshop to those who donated $30.
“But if you can suddenly stop and read something that makes your brain work in a different way, you’ve gotten to the next level of the video game that is the subway,” said McDonough.
Each month will feature three different poets.
“Funders who gave more than $50 to our Indiegogo campaign were able to nominate poems, so we are busily reading those, selecting poems, and working out permissions,” Macios said.