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The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years on Subways and Buses (Hardcover)

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The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years on Subways and Buses Cover Image
By Alice Quinn (Editor), Billy Collins (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

Of the thousands of reasons I love NYC, riding the subway is at the top of my list. This book -- and the project -- is the reason why. Imagine you are standing or seated in a crowded dank subway, trying to not read the awful ads above the seats, making sure to avert your gaze from other riders, when your wandering eyes alight on a framed poem attached to the subway car wall. Oh what a treat! I search for this brilliant art installation every time I ride the subway, especially for my favorite poem that I've sat next to on many subway rides. It never fails to remind me how rich life can be. Turn to pages 98/99 to former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith's poem "The Good Life."

— From Vicki's Picks


“Poems once in motion…continue to move their readers. And what an imaginative variety of poetic delights is offered here.”—Billy Collins

It would have pleased Walt Whitman, that poet of urban motion, to envision his words coursing by electrified rail through a diverse, global city of 8 million souls. Since 1992, with the presentation of an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the Poetry in Motion program—co-sponsored by MTA Arts & Design and the Poetry Society of America—has brought more than 200 poems, in whole or in part, before the eyes of millions of subway and bus riders, offering a moment of timelessness in the busy day. The poems are by an eclectic mix of writers, from Sappho and Sylvia Plath to W. H. Auden, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Nikki Giovanni, Patrick Phillips, and Aracelis Girmay. Each of the 100 poems gathered here has, in sixteen lines or less, the power to enliven the quotidian, provide nourishment for the soul, and enchant even the youngest among us.

About the Author

Alice Quinn is the executive director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She was poetry editor at The New Yorker from 1987 to 2007 and lives in New York City.

Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States and the State of New York. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College and a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute. A Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and author of many collections of poetry, including Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds and Horoscopes for the Dead, he lives in Westchester, New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393609370
ISBN-10: 0393609375
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 192
Language: English