City of Madison Announces 2023 Bus Lines Poetry Selections


The Madison Poet Laureate invites you to celebrate the poets on November 9th at 6:30pm.

The City of Madison is excited to announce the selected poets for the 2023 Bus Lines poetry project. Poems by six poets were selected, including:

  • “Land and People” by Rudy Bankston
  • “To my children in our garden” by Daniela Chandler
  • “Madison Metro” by Harmony, 3rd grader at Lincoln Elementary
  • “Trees in the Wind” by Kael, 3rd grader at Lincoln Elementary
  • “Remember” by Nola Pastor
  • “Solid Gold” by Mary Louise Peters

The selected poems can be seen in the attached images or PDF. 61 poets applied, submitting 130 short poems that celebrated the environment, including composting, gardening, upcycling and recycling, the importance of mass transit, and more. Bus Lines is made possible by a partnership between the Madison Poet Laureate and Metro Transit, with support from the Madison Arts Commission.

Selected poems will be placed on Madison buses beginning in late November, and the poets will be honored at a celebratory reading of their work at Pinney Library, Thursday, November 9th at 6:30PM.

Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez shared, “during my entire term as the Madison Poet Laureate, we were unable to put the poems on the buses during the pandemic. I am so happy that in my fourth and final year as poet laureate the poems are back on the buses. The entire city will now be able to see the rich creativity and spirit of their fellow Madisonians. Poetry brings us closer together, just like public transportation.”

About Poetry in Madison
The City of Madison Poet Laureate position was created in 1977 by then Mayor Paul Soglin. The Poet Laureate is honorary position that guides and nurtures the development of the poetry community in Madison thereby enriching our culture. The Poet Laureate leads the Poetry in Common Council series, the Bus Lines project, and mentors the City of Madison Youth Poet Laureate. The Bus Lines program was started in 2009 by then Poet Laureate Fabu. This program creates an opportunity for Madison residents to display their poems on Metro Transit buses and brings poetry before city residents in a creative way.



Top: over a green background with brown cracks “Land and People - how do we gather ourselves back into wholeness fragment by fragment - Rudy Bankston”. Middle: over a scene of pink flowers “To my children in our garden - To naps in the wrap, you sleep as I toil And tiny hands digging into the soil To “mommy! I helped!” grins on pink faces And Zinnias we put in glass vases (cont.) - Daniela Chandler.” Bottom: edge of a bus and the Capitol with “Madison Metro - People in windows and seats Saving birds and t
Top: over the a orange background with a leaf is “Trees in the Wind -Swaying in the wind My leaves falling all winter Squirrels love me, too - Kael, 3rd grade.”  Middle: over the top of a deep blue sky with a shooting star reads “Remember The arc of a fairytale  is long. In the middle, it looks like a tragedy - Nola Pastor.” Bottom: layers of green, light brown and dark brown, with “Solid Gold - Bank on it. Daily deposits earn compounded interest. Let every apple feed you twice. Compost - Mary Louise Peters
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