Nashville’s Poetry in Motion Features Amateurs

For the month of April, MTA has showcased poetry alongside paid advertising inside its buses. City arts leaders have put a local twist on a national program called Poetry in Motion.

Rin Willocks is a 17-year-old slam poet whose work is part of Poetry in Motion.

Rin Willocks is a 17-year-old slam poet whose work is part of Poetry in Motion.

One of the 13 featured poems comes from a home school student named Rin Willocks, who wrote about staying up late with friends…writing poems.

“I was a teddy bear,
Barely able to keep back brains from kissing dirt.
Four sleepless friends fed off my pencil shavings.
We hungered for an exhale
Colorful like stained sky before us.”

Poetry in Motion started on New York City subways, which were plastered with the work of well-known poets who live there.

Alice Quinn directs the organization behind the program and says she appreciates Nashville’s interpretation, with short works from amateurs, slam poets, and songwriters.

“A number of them are only in Spanish. I think it’s just remarkable. It’s representing so many different pockets of your place.”

The director of the Metro Arts Commission says she’d like to continue displaying poetry, but now has to figure out how to pay for what is usually ad space.

Poetry in Motion has now been in at least 30 cities. Read all 13 MTA poems here.


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