Mass Poetry has kicked off Poetry on the MBTA in celebration of national poetry month. The group purchased ad space on the Green Line through May, and an anonymous sponsor will allow the poems to stay on trolley walls through June 15.
Mass Poetry Program Director Laurin Macios takes a #PoeTrySelfie with "What Travels" by poet Joseph O. Legaspi. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Poetic passengers riding the Green Line should pay attention, because through mid-June and possibly throughout the end of the summer, they will be able to enjoy poems about inspiration, community and diversity.
Mass Poetry, a group that launched six years ago to celebrate the art of poetry, has kicked off Poetry on the MBTA in celebration of national poetry month. The group purchased ad space on the Green Line's C-branch through May, and an anonymous sponsor will allow the poems - [What Travels] by Joseph O. Legaspi, “Song” by Tracy K. Smith, and “Marathon” by Nick Flynn - to stay on trolley walls through June 15.
But the wise words may not end there. Mass Poetry is kicking off an IndieGoGo funding campaign to raise money for three additional months of poems.
"Our hope is that after that there will be a lot of interest, and that we can take that to potential sponsors of the program," said Mass Poetry Program Director Laurin Macios.
"The main reason we're doing this, is to enrich people's lives with poetry. It can bring so much joy to someone's day."
"Marathon" by Nick Flynn is one of three poems on display on the Green Line.
Each poem also appears on a tear-pad in the corner so riders can take a poem home with them. Passengers are also encouraged to snap a #poeTryselfie of themselves with a poem, and tweet it to @masspoetry or post it on the group's Facebook page.
The project is an arm of the group's program, Poetry in Public Spaces, which seeks to take poetry to people rather than have people seek it out.
Mass Poetry Co-Founder Nicco Mele said his experience with poetry on New York's MTA transit system had a profound effect on him when he worked there 15 years ago.
He hopes the MBTA equivalent has a similar effect on Bostonians.
"Part of putting these poems on the T is to just bring a little bit of joy and reflection to our lives. With technology and mobile phones, we sometimes get lost in being constantly tuned into the present," said Mele.