Friday, February 13, 2009

Poetry in Transit - British Columbia, Canada

After a rewarding, but tiring, day at a library on Tuesday this week, I was reminded how much I enjoy 'Poetry in Transit', sponsored by the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC), with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Translink and BC Transit, the Hatch Creative Group and the Province of British Columbia.

Each year a new set of selections from poems written by BC poets is printed onto transit advertising cards and posted in buses and trains for transit riders' enjoyment. If you aren't a transit rider (and why aren't you?) you can see some of the poetry cards here.

The poems must have been previously published, and most are recent works, although Earle Birney's "Vancouver Lights" (published in 1977) was one of those chosen for 2007-8. I do hope that occasionally a few much older poems reflecting BC's history might be in future selections. I don't believe any have been included before.

Although these poems may not always be of the highest literary merit, I believe many British Columbians would find these of interest, for example, I was just noticing again the 'Stump Ranch girl' poems by Jean Donaldson, published in Vancouver's Province newspaper in 1928. (Anyone who knows more about her, please get in touch with me.) For a few old BC poems, read The Old Red Shirt: Pioneer Poets of British Columbia, edited by Yvonne Mearns Klan (Vancouver, BC: Transmontanus, New Star Books, 2004)

Thank you to the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia:

More about Yvonne Klan (1930-2004) BC Author Bank, ABC BookWorld:

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