VC professorís poetry to be featured on VIA public transportation in San Antonio

VC Associate Professor of English Michelle Paulsen

April is National Poetry Month and in celebration of poetry, San Antonio’s public transportation system uses the ad space in each of its buses and trolleys to feature the work of local poets for their riders to enjoy. This April, VC Associate Professor of English Michelle Paulsen will be one of ten regional poets featured during VIA’s “Poetry on the Move” event.

“Last April, I was riding a VIA trolley in San Antonio and noticed poetry on the inside of the car,” said Paulsen. “Then I saw that the poem was written by a friend of mine, Jenny Browne, who has also been a speaker at VC in the past. Then another friend, who is now the poetry editor for the San Antonio Express-News, sent me information about how to enter and encouraged me to submit poetry for “Poetry on the Move” in April this year.”

Paulsen, who teaches creative writing at VC and has also published three books of poetry and been featured in literary magazines, readings, and festivals, sent in several poems she had already written. The poems were only slightly modified to conform to the ten line requirement. Over the winter break, she received notification that one of her poems was selected to be featured next April.

The “Poetry on the Move” kick-off event will be held in San Antonio on April 1 where Paulsen will be recognized along with fellow poets being featured throughout the month.

“It’s not just the text of the poem that people will see,” added Paulsen. “Local artists create imagery related to each of the poems that turns the words into visual art, as well.”

Additionally, each poet is asked to record the poem in their own voice so that riders can listen to the author on their cell phones while riding public transportation.

According to tentative plans, VIA buses with Poetry on the Move artwork will also be featured as part of San Antonio’s Luminaria event in March. Paulsen will also be asked to read her poetry at The Twig, an independent bookseller in San Antonio.

Other selections of Paulsen’s poetry have also recently been featured in the poetry section of the San Antonio Express.

by Katy Long, posted Thursday, January 13, 2011


"Poetry on the Move" winning submission by Michelle Paulsen:

i have been wearing

sensible shoes so long

i can no longer

write a poem.

everything is

flat and black.

poems need- i need- the

lipstick red

high curve of


Published: Thursday, 13 January 2011

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