You’re invited you to submit poems of no more than six lines

The Madison Poet Laureate is seeking short poems from Madison residents to be considered for the annual Bus Lines poetry project. 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 and the poets will be honored at a celebratory reading and exhibition of their work at Pinney Library, Thursday, November 9th at 6:30 pm.

The Bus Lines program was started in 2009 by then Madison Poet Laureate Fabu. Over the years, the program has provided a platform to present dozens of poems to the public in a variety of formats on and in Metro Transit busses. Current Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez has expanded the Bus Lines program to include an exhibition of resulting poems and a celebratory reading at Pinney Library. This addition broadens the public access to the selected poems, and provides an event to gather and honor the poets.

Applicants must reside within the City of Madison, except for K-12 students who must reside in the Metro Transit ridership area during the 2022-23 school year. Applicants may submit up to three poems, each no longer than six lines. Submissions can be made in any language. Poems in a different language must include an English translation for full consideration.

2023 Poetry Theme
Madison residents are asked to submit optimistic poems that celebrate the environment, including composting, gardening, upcycling and recycling, the importance of mass transit, etc. Write the future you want to see in a poem!
Trudell Vasquez stated “Citizens of Madison are asked to envision a city and bring it to the page that highlights their commitment to clean air and water, creating an environment where all are living creatures are safe, where there is no litter in our city woods and wild spaces, where every time we construct a new building it is done with care for everything that flies or hums in the Spring.”

2023 Application
Applications for the 2023 Bus Lines program close June 9, 2023 at 12 pm (noon). Selected poets will be asked to attend a celebratory reading & exhibition of their work at Pinney Library, Thursday, November 9th at 6:30 pm.