Nanaimo poet laureate Tina Biello reads some newly installed poetry aboard an RDN Transit bus. On Thursday morning the City of Nanaimo unveiled the poems selected to be part of its Poetry in Transit program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

City of Nanaimo unveils poems selected for Poetry in Transit program

Poems by local poets will be displayed inside RDN Transit buses

Nanaimo residents have a new reason to ride public tranit.

On Thursday morning the City of Nanaimo unveiled the first round of poems that will be displayed inside RDN Transit buses as part of its Poetry in Transit Program.

A ceremony was held at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library featuring remarks from Mayor Leonard Krog and councillors Tyler Brown, Erin Hemmens and Ian Thorpe. There were also readings from some participating poets and Nanaimo poet laureate Tina Biello.

City culture and heritage coordinator Chris Barfoot said there were more than 35 submissions in the first round and around 28 made the cut. He said each bus will carry at least two poems. The selected poets are Justine Nagra, Tim Lander, Ursula Vaira, Jamie Levin, Joanne Dzierza, Laura Timmermans, Cathy Murphy, John Beaton, Steve Romanik, Hilary Eastmure, Katherine Poyner-Del Vento, Erin Young and Michael Dance.

“It was really good to have so many submissions and people engaged. The theme was Caring for Others and people really got up to the challenge of it, or the love of it,” Biello said. “[When] you’re on a bus, you’re stuck there with a bunch of people and it’s always such a great surprise to look up and see a poem. So I think it’s bringing poems out to the community and people who might not buy a book of poetry or read poems.”

Dance had two pieces accepted into the program. He said he was intrigued by the idea of displaying poetry in buses.

“I mean, we have all that advertising on there, why not put some local artists on there, too?” he said.

Poyner-Del Vento has been published in some small literary magazines and thought that submitting to Poetry in Transit would bring her work to a wider audience.

“Last year my kid entered a contest to name the garbage trucks and won and so I have a garbage truck rolling around Nanaimo named Mommy, after me,” she said. “And I had mixed feelings about that as you would imagine so I really appreciate the City of Nanaimo using all their large vehicles to embrace all aspects of my identity. That I’m not just Mommy the garbage truck, I’m also Katherine Poyner-Del Vento the poet.”

The call for poetry remains open. Those wishing to submit their work can do so by contacting callingallpoets@nanaimo.ca. Click here for submission guidelines.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Infrastructure upgrades about to get underway on Bowen Road

Nighttime road work to start next Monday, June 8, between old Island Highway and Labieux Road

Resiliency program set up to help Island tourism through ‘grim’ times

Tourism Vancouver Island CEO says 23-25 per cent of tourism businesses may shut down permanently

Column: Vulnerability to global disasters is our own making

For many, needs of the moment take precedence over concerns about sustainability, notes columnist

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Most Read