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Morgan Lyons

April 6, 1999

200,000 riders a day see eye-catching posters

Richland College sponsors Poetry in Motion on DART buses and trains

Work-weary commuters of the metroplex, look up! When you step on a DART bus or train you can quench your thirst for meaning and beauty at the oasis of a fresh poem.

The pilot program of Poetry In Motion will go forward, thanks to sponsor Richland College, a Dallas County Community College District campus on Abrams Road near LBJ Freeway. Funding from the college enables DART to continue placing classic poems and works of area poets in overhead advertising spaces on buses and trains.

Beginning April 6, riders will see new poems by regional poets Frederick Turner, Tim Seibles and Lorenzo Thomas, as well as Ogden Nash and A. E. Housman -- all displayed on handsome, eye-catching posters.

Now enjoyed by millions of transit riders daily in cities like New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles, this public art program coordinated by the Poetry Society of America (PSA) has won praise for placing poems in public venues of wide economic and social diversity.

"Poetry in Motion is a first-rate example of public art that furthers the idea of community. The program increases literacy, promotes cultural and aesthetic diversity by featuring poems by ethnically diverse poets and encourages more people to read and write poetry," said DART Vice President of Marketing and Communications Sue Bauman.

Richland College President Dr. Stephen Mittelstet said the college recognizes the enormous value of placing poems on buses and trains. "Students of many nationalities and cultural backgrounds receive their associate degrees through our extensive liberal arts program. More than 200,000 riders of all ages, ethnic origins and economic levels come together on DART's buses and trains each day, and the poems are there for anyone to enjoy. What better way for Richland College to promote two of our major goals -- the love of literature and the need for community?"

The current Poetry in Motion series consists of five different poems -- three placed in the overhead advertising spaces on almost 650 DART buses and two in the window-level advertising spaced of DART's 40 light rail trains. The posters will be changed every two months, for a total of 24 poems over the next year. Retired posters are available to schools and community centers, and may also be purchased at DART Stores at the Akard Station or at Elm & Ervay in downtown Dallas. Small posters are $3; large posters are $5.

A distinguished committee of local publishers, editors, educators and booksellers selected the poems, working within guidelines recommended by the PSA. Committee members are Teri Aguilar, Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; Bob Compton, retired Book Page editor of The Dallas Morning News; Billy Bob Hill, Browder Springs Publishing Company president; Patton Howell, president of Poets, Essayists & Novelists (PEN) International; Jerry McElveen, Richland College English professor; Emma Rodgers, owner of Black Images Books, and Willard Spiegelman, SMU English professor and Southwest Review editor. DART project coordinators Martha Heimberg and Leigh Anne Patterson also served on the committee.

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