PCL was delighted to welcome Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and poet Tina Cane to an event marking the launch of the Poetry in Motion in Rhode Island. The event took place, appropriately, on a RIPTA bus, parked outside Rochambeau Library! Through Poetry in Motion, public transport users will be able to read and contemplate poems and extracts of poems on the digital display boards inside about half of RIPTA’s fixed-route bus fleet. The program originated in New York in 1992 and has since spread to other areas and municipalities.
Cane, who was appointed Rhode Island’s State Poet Laureate in 2016, has been a patron of Rochambeau Library. She became acquainted with the Poetry in Motion project in New York and thought it would be a great fit for Rhode Island. She approached RIPTA and the transit authority became interested in the idea. After concluding personal remarks at the launch, Cane recited Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, which will be the first poem to feature on display boards. The poems, typically, will change once a month.
Also present at the launch were Alice Quinn, Executive Director, The Poetry Society of America, Wayne Kezirian, Chairman, RIPTA Board of Directors, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and PCL Director, Jeff Cannell, all of whom offered comments and congratulations.
The project has the support of RISCA. More about Poetry in Motion can be found here.
Thanks to Dhana Whiteing for the images.