‘Poetry on the T’ Project Will Continue Through September

MassPoetry raised enough cash to bring additional works to the transit lines.
Image via MassPoetry

Image via MassPoetry

After launching an IndieGoGo.com campaign last month to raise funds to replace MBTA advertisements with prose written by local poets, MassPoetry successfully met their goal—and then some.

“We are so excited that Boston rallied behind ‘Poetry on the T’ to build a summer of public poetry,” said Laurin Macios, MassPoetry’s program director. “This effort will help us show large, long-term sponsors that people want poems in place of ads.”

Thanks to the success of the fundraiser, where riders backed the project by donating nearly $10,000 to the cause, poems will now be taking the place of advertisements on select transit lines and buses for the rest of the summer. When the season comes to an end, UMass Boston will pick up the tab and sponsor the month of September.

“Each month will feature three different poets,” said Macios. “Funders who gave more than $50 to our Indiegogo campaign were able to nominate poems, so we are busily reading those, selecting poems, and working out permissions. July’s poems have been chosen and are currently being designed. The rest are underway. September’s will be poems from UMass Boston MFA in Poetry’s faculty.”

The idea for the online fundraiser was born out of the “Poetry on the T” project launched by MassPoetry during National Poetry Month in April. It was so well received that passengers started asking for more opportunities for writers to share their work with the public.

“Riders can expect to be moved in some way,” Macios said of the next round of poems that will be plastered the insides of the buses and trains. “We select poems that will engage the varied audience on the T and look for poems that will inspire, delight, and provoke thoughts or feelings of connectedness, or even just make someone laugh.”

Commuters are encouraged to continue making donations on the group’s IndieGoGo page so the organization has funds to stretch the project into the fall.