MetroLink and MetroBus riders will soon see new poems featured inside Metro Transit vehicles in the St. Louis region. Fourteen of the 15 winners of Metro Arts in Transit’s 2018 MetroLines Poetry Contest read their winning poems at a special reception on October 11 at the Regional Arts Commission in the Delmar Loop. The winning poems range from no more than a few words to up to 15 lines.
In addition to having the opportunity to read their poems in public, each winning poet received a $100 prize for their poems which will be displayed in the interiors of MetroBus vehicles and MetroLink trains for up to the next year. A panel of literary professionals from the St. Louis region judged selected the winning poems.
All of the poets live within a 50 miles radius of St. Louis. The winning artists and the titles of their works are as follows:
“Every year, I am amazed by the incredibly talented community of poets living in the bi-state region, and to hear them read their winning poems at the reception was very powerful,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “We hope their poems will further enhance the experience of the transit riding public as they commute on a MetroBus vehicle or a MetroLink train.”
Poet and author Jason Vasser-Elong was the featured speaker at the special reception. Vasser-Elong read several pieces from his recently published book shrimp, his debut poetry collection examining identity in a post-colonial context. Currently a Program Specialist for the Missouri Arts Council, Vasser-Elong has an MFA in creative writing and poetry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Arts in Transit is a non-profit subsidiary of Metro Transit founded in 1986 to facilitate public art programs and community engagement projects in the St. Louis mero area. Since 2001, Arts in Transit (AIT) has sponsored a variety poetry and literary programs. The program has evolved into MetroLines, which is supported by funding from the Regional Arts Commission. To learn more about MetroLines, visit artsintransit.org.
About Metro Transit
Metro Transit operates the St. Louis region’s public transportation system which includes 400 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 83 MetroBus routes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Metro also operates MetroLink light rail vehicles on 46 miles of track serving 38 stations in the two-state area, and operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro Transit is one of five enterprises operated by Bi-State Development.