Passengers on The Rapid will have more than just West Michigan scenery to look at throughout April and May, when poetry crafted by faculty from Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University faculty will be on display during the Poetry on the Rapid program.
Six poems are featured on placards displayed on buses throughout The Rapid bus system, each designed by Vinicius Lima, assistant professor of graphic design at Grand Valley. The placards feature works by GRCC faculty member, Mursalata Muhammad, GVSU faculty members, Patricia Clark, Chris Haven, Amorak Huey and Todd Kaneko, and Calvin College and Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, L. S. Klatt.
Patricia Clark, chair of Grand Valley’s Writing Department and project coordinator, said the placards will create a sense of wonder in the minds of Rapid riders. “Let’s use our imagination a little more and see the world with a sense of fun, a sense of play, a sense of fooling around with language,” Clark said. “Let’s be children again a little bit. Go ahead and read those poems.”
Muhammad explains, “I am excited to be part of this project. Having the chance to read poetry in a public space like the bus is creative civic engagement; I’m a fan of such opportunities and invite reader comments about any of the poems on Twitter @mursalata.”
The Poetry on the Rapid program celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as National Poetry Month.