Project Dates:
July 01, 2013
July 01, 2014

busses across Canada

Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Ottawa, Durham, Toronto, Oakville, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton

Poetry in Transit – 2013-2014

Pattison Outdoor Launches Poetry in Transit in Buses across Canada

Pattison Outdoor Advertising, in collaboration with the League of Canadian Poets, launches a year-long program, Poetry in Transit on July 1, 2013, introducing poems by 15 award-winning and internationally renowned Canadian writers in 13 cities across the country.

Celebrating the work of Canadian poets and offering an engaging diversion for millions of commuters, Pattison Outdoor’s new initiative Poetry in Transit revitalises and expands on the popular public transit poetry programmes that ran in various Canadian cities starting in1996, increasing the readership for emerging and established poets. Toronto’s version, entitled ‘Poetry on the Way’ ran from 1998 to 2011.

Pattison Outdoor is placing one poem per bus in the overhead spaces between ads, creating moving venues for verse and providing commuters the opportunity to encounter some of the best poetry Canada has to offer. This broad-reaching literary initiative will be on all buses in Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Durham, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat throughout the coming year.

“Pattison Outdoor is pleased to partner with the Canadian League of Poets to present Poetry in Transit across Canada. I hope sharing these verses by great Canadian poets will engage readers and serve as an inspiration to commuters,” said Randy Otto, President of Pattison Outdoor Advertising.

“We at the League of Canadian Poets are delighted to be involved in the Poetry in Transit project. It is part of our vision to see poetry displayed in places where it may find a new audience. What better place than the buses that so many of us use every day? We are grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts and Pattison Outdoor for being our partners in this wonderful endeavour,” said M. E. Csamer, President, League of Canadian Poets.

Poetry in Transit is a new program initiated by Pattison Outdoor, in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets. The program has received financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

The poetry selections were chosen by a jury made up of members from the League of Canadian Poets, and include verses by the following:

  • George Amabile “Horizon The Presence of Fire (McClelland & Stewart, 1982)  b. 1936 Jersey City, NJ, USA – residence Winnipeg, MB
  • bill bissett “IT USD 2 B” scars on th seehors (Talonbooks, 1999) b. 1939 Halifax, NS – residence Toronto and Vancouver
  • Dionne Brand “I Have Been Losing Roads, I v Land To Light On (McClelland & Stewart, 1997) b.1953 Trinidad – residence Toronto, ON
  • Elizabeth Brewster “Daphne” Jacob’s Dream (Oberon Press, 2002) 1922 Chipman, NB – 2012 Saskatoon, SK
  • George Elliott Clarke “Translated from the Spanish” Wylah Falls (Gaspereau Press, 2010) b. 1960 Three Mile Plains, NS – residence Toronto, ON
  • Lorna Crozier “In Moonlight” The Garden Going On Without Us (McClelland & Stewart, 1985) b. 1948 Swift Current, SK – residence Victoria, BC
  • Marilyn Dumont “Hastings” green girl dreams Mountains (Oolichan, 2001) b. 1955 Olds, AB – residence Edmonton, AB
  • George Johnston “Us Together” Endeared by Dark (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1990) 1913 Hamilton, ON – 2004 Hinchinbrook, QC
  • Robert Kroetsch “Playing Cards with My Sisters” Too Bad: Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait (University of Alberta Press, 2010) 1927 Heisler, AB – 2011 Edmonton, AB
  • M. Travis Lane “The Cove” The All-Nighter’s Radio (Guernica Editions, 2010) b. 1934 San Antonio, TX, USA – residence Fredericton, NB
  • P. K. Page “This Heavy Craft” The Hidden Room: Collected Poems, Volume Two (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1997) 1916 Swanage, Dorset, UK – 2010, Victoria, BC
  • Patrick M. Pilarski “Pelicans” huge blue: western canadian travel sketches (Leaf Press, 2009) residence, Edmonton, AB
  • Joseph Sherman “The Rim” American Standard and Other Poems (Oberon Press, 2001) 1945 Bridgewater, NS, – 2006 Charlottetown, PEI
  • Glen Sorestad “Aide Memoir” Leaving Holds Me Here: Selected Poems (Thistledown Press, 2001) b. 1937 Vancouver, BC, residence Saskatoon, SK
  • Anna Yin Still Life” Wings Toward Sunlight (Mosaic Press, 2011) b. China – residence Mississauga, ON


About the Poets

George Amabile
George Amabile has published his poetry, fiction and non -fiction in the USA, Canada, Europe, England, Wales, South America, Australia and New Zealand in over a hundred anthologies, magazines, journals and periodicals including The New Yorker, The New Yorker Book of Poems, Harper’s, Poetry (Chicago), American Poetry Review, Botteghe Oscure, The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, Saturday Night,, Poetry Australia, Sur (Buenos Aires), Poetry Canada Review, Canadian Literature, and Margin (England).

bill bissett
bill bissett (born William Frederick Bissett, November 23, 1939) is a Canadian poet famous for his anti-conventional style. A pioneer of sound, visual, and performance poetry, bissett was an important figure of West Coast counterculture during the 1960s. He is known for using a unique orthography that eschews punctuation and capitalization and utilizes phonetic spelling as strategies of contestation against normative subject positions. http://www.billbissett.com/

Dionne Brand
Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice, including particularly issues of gender and race. She was educated at the University of Toronto, where she earned a BA in English and Philosophy and an MA in the Philosophy of Education. Dionne Brand has published eighteen books, contributed to seventeen anthologies, written dozens of essays and articles, and made four documentary films for the National Film Board. She was recently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at St. Lawrence University in New York and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in both British Columbia and Ontario. She has also held the Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She lives in Toronto and presently holds a University Research Chair at the University of Guelph where she is a professor. http://dionnebrand.ca/

Elizabeth Brewster
Elizabeth Winifred Brewster (26 August 1922 – 26 December 2012) was a Canadian poet and academic from New Brunswick. She has published over two dozen books, the majority of which are collections of poetry, and has received numerous awards for her work. Characterized by her plain-spoken, poignant style, Brewster’s writing has become an important part of Canada’s literary canon. In 2001, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada

George Elliott Clarke
Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1960, Mr. Clarke is a seventh-generation Canadian of African-American and Mi’kmaq Amerindian heritage. a Canadian poet and playwright. His work largely explores and chronicles the experience and history of the Black Canadian communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Among Mr. Clarke’s many honours are the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005-08), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and eight honorary doctorates. http://www.toronto.ca/culture/poet_laureate.htm

Lorna Crozier
Lorna Crozier was born in 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Her first collection Inside in the Sky was published in 1976. Since then, she has authored 14 books of poetry, including The Garden Going on Without Us, Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, Inventing the Hawk, winner of the 1992 Governor-General’s Award, Everything Arrives at the Light, Apocrypha of Light, What the Living Won’t Let Go, and most recently Whetstone. Whether Lorna is writing about angels, aging, or Louis Armstrong’s trout sandwich, she continues to engage readers and writers across Canada and the world with her grace, wisdom and wit. She is, as Margaret Laurence wrote, “a poet to be grateful for.”  http://www.lornacrozier.ca/

Marilyn Dumont
Marilyn Dumont was born in 1955 in Northeastern Alberta. A Métis, she often writes of the Canadian positioning of Native women. Dumont’s first collection of poetry, A Really Good Brown Girl (1996) won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of Canadian poetry. Her second collection, Green Girl Dreams Mountains, won both the 2001 Alberta Book Award for Poetry and the 2002 Writer’s Guild of Alberta Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. Dumont received her MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She has been Writer in Electronic Residence at Windsor University, and has taught creative writing at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen University College.

George Johnston
George Benson Johnston (October 7, 1913 – August 2004) was a Canadian poet, translator, and academic. Johnston is best known for lyric poetry that delineates with good-humoured wisdom the pleasures and pains of suburban family life. He is the author of The Cruising Auk (1959), Home Free (1966), Happy Enough: Poems 1935-72 (1972), Taking a Grip: Poems, 1971-78 (1978), Auk Redivivus: Selected Poems (1981), Rocky Shores (1981), Ask Again (poems, 1984) and Endeared by Dark (The Collected Poems) (1990).

Robert Kroetsch
Born in 1927 in Heisler, Alberta, Robert Kroetsch is Canada’s major postmodern writer. He remained in the prairies throughout his youth, as is evident from the settings for any of his novels. He attended the University of Alberta and received his B.A. in 1948. Kroetsch is also an accomplished poet and literary critic. Completed Field Notes (1989) is a collection made up of excerpts from his famous long poems, such as “The Seed Catalogue,” and The Lovely Treachery of Words (1989) is a collection of his critical essays. Both his poetry and critical writings are postmodern in that they subvert tradition, fragmented and opened ended. http://robertkroetsch.ca/

M. Travis Lane
M. Travis Lane, born 1934, Canadian citizen 1973, B.A. Honours, junior Phi Beta Kappa Vassar; M.A. and PhD Cornell, PhD thesis “Agnosticism as technique in the poetry of Robert Frost” 1967. Has taught english survey, contemporary American poetry, West Indian writing. Major Honours: Pat Lowther 1980, NBWF 1994, Atlantic Poetry prize 2001, Alden Nowlan Award 2003, Bliss Carman prize 2006. Honorary Research Associate for UNB English department since 1967; outside reader for several theses. Numerous (over 100) reviews and essays. Books and chapbooks: An Inch or So of Garden (1969), Poems 1968-1972 (1973), Homecomings (1977), Divinations and shorter poems (1980), Walking under the nebulae, Reckonings (1988), Solid Things (1989), Temporary Shelter (1993), Night Physics (1994), Keeping Afloat (2001), Touch Earth (2006), and The Crisp Day Closing on my Hand, selected poems, Sir Wilfrid Laurier University Press and, forthcoming, The All Nighter’s Radio and The Book of Widows.

P. K. Page
Patricia Kathleen “P. K.” Page, CC OBC FRSC (November 23, 1916 – January 14, 2010) was a Canadian poet, author and visual artist. Page is one of this country’s outstanding writers and poets. She has published over 20 books and long been recognized internationally. In 2001, her poem Planet Earth was selected by the United Nations as a centrepiece of a year-long Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry for international broadcast by satellite. Her paintings are less well-known, signed with her married name of Irwin. Her art hangs in permanent collections at the National Gallery, and in the art galleries of Ontario, Vancouver, Victoria and Windsor. Among her awards are: six honorary doctorates; Officer of the Order of Canada, 1977; Companion of the Order of Canada, 1999; and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002.

Patrick Pilarski
Patrick M. Pilarski is the co-editor of DailyHaiku, an international journal of contemporary English-language haiku, and poetry editor for its new sister publication, DailyHaiga. His first full-length collection, Huge Blue, was released in 2009 by Leaf Press, and he is the author of two chapbooks: Contemplating Vows (2011, with Nicole Pakan) and Five Weeks (2007). Patrick’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies across North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, recently including The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Literary Review of Canada, The New Quarterly, filling Station, Carousel, Modern Haiku, and on CBC Radio One as part of the CBC Poetry Face-off. Patrick has served on the organizing committee for the Edmonton Poetry Festival, and as Vice President of the League of Canadian Poets. He recently completed a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in computing science at the University of Alberta. http://www.pilarski.ca/

Joe Sherman
Joseph Sherman was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 1945, and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of New Brunswick. He taught college English in Edmundston, New Brunswick from 1970 to 1979, and since 1979 has been editor of ARTSatlantic in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Glen Sorestad
Glen Sorestad is a nationally recognized poet who has published twenty books of poetry. His work has been recognized in Europe and the United States where throughout the years he has been invited to universities and writing festivals to present it. His work with the Saskatchewan Writers Guild earned him the Guild’s Founders’ Award in 1990. In subsequent years he was recognized by the Writers Union of Canada and in 1998 the League of Canadian Poets honoured him with Life Member status. In 2000 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, a post that he served until 2004, and in 2010 he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Anna Yin
Anna Yin was born in China, immigrated to Canada in 1999 and has published more than eighty poems internationally. In 2005, Anna received the Ontario Poetry Society’s Ted Plantos Memorial Award. She was interviewed by CBC Radio for her poem “Toronto, No More Weeping”. Anna is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and a Director of the Chinese Cultural Federation of North America. Anna was selected as “CFP Feature Poet” for February (2006) by the Canadian Federation of Poets. Her poems in English & Chinese and ten translations by her were in a Canadian Studies’ textbook used by Humber College. She has chapbooks: Jasmine Star Light, Farewell to Sunflowers (Chinese/English). Anna holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Nanjing University and a Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Toronto. In 2010, she won MARTY award for Emerging Literary Arts presented by the Mississauga Arts Council for her poetry and contributions to the community. http://www.annapoetry.com


Poetry in Transit is part of Art in Transit, Pattison Onestop’s year-long arts and culture programme, presenting thought-provoking projects that enhance our shared environment and transport city-dwellers, if only momentarily, out of our daily routines.

About The League of Canadian Poets – www.poets.ca
The League of Canadian Poets is the professional organization for established and emerging Canadian poets. Founded in 1966 to nurture the advancement of poetry in Canada, and the promotion of the interests of poets. The League serves the poetry community and promotes a high level of professional achievement through events, networking, projects, publications, mentoring and awards. It administers programs and funds for governments and private donors and encourages an appreciative readership and audience for poetry through educational partnerships and presentations to diverse groups.

About Pattison Onestopwww.pattisononestop.com
Pattison Outdoor Advertising is Canada’s largest Out-of-Home advertising company, serving over 100 markets coast-to-coast. Pattison Onestop, a division of Pattison Outdoor, is a world leader in the development and operation of Digital Out-of-Home Media (DOOH) for mass transit, mall, retail, hospitality, residential, office, and outdoor environments. Art in Transit represents Pattison Onestop’s ongoing arts and culture programme. www.artintransit.ca.

For more information contact: Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist – 416.762.7702 or mnazar @ idirect.ca