VIA Poetry Contest

Passed along by poet and artist friend Martha K. Grant> Get your pencils sharpened.


 VIA Metropolitan Transit will begin its 2011 poetry contest earlier this year to allow time to coordinate with other art programs.

Called “Poetry on the Move,” the contest is open to anyone over 18 years of age in Central and South Texas (except for VIA employees and their families), and entries can be sent in beginning October 1 and running through November 17. The winning poetry will be displayed on VIA buses and vans during National Poetry Month in April 2011.

 Contestants can submit up to three poems each, and the works must be understandable by a wide audience, free of any offensive language, and without obscure references. Entries should be mailed to VIA Metropolitan Transit c/o Jerri Ann Jones, Public Affairs, P.O. Box 12489, San Antonio, Texas 78212. Submissions should be postmarked by November 17, 2010, and winners will be notified before their work is published in VIA’s fleet.

 To be eligible, each poem should be typed or printed and sent by mail. No fax or e-mail submissions will be accepted. Each poem needs to be ten lines or shorter (including the title and spaces), and the author’s name or any other identifying information cannot appear on the poems themselves.

Contestants should include a cover letter that contains the title (or first line) of each poem; name, address, and telephone number of the author; a one-line bio; and a signed permission line that reads: “I hereby give VIA Metropolitan Transit permission to use my poem(s) on their buses, vans, or other agency publications as well as in National Poetry Month San Antonio publicity.”

 Poets will retain all rights for future publication. All poems must be original work and cannot have been previously published. The poems themselves will not be returned, but the winners will be notified by mail.

 In addition to being displayed on VIA’s fleet, the winning poems will also be recorded in the authors’ voices and made available through Refarm Spectacle, and they will be given to five teen youth art programs to create designs for the bus interior cards.