Local poet, Michael V. Smith will be featured as an artist in the Poetry in Transit collection this year.
The Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia partners with TransLink and B.C. Transit each year to produce a collection of poetry car cards featuring the work of B.C. authors and Canadian-published poets. The campaign brings a little bit of art into British Columbian’s commutes.
A poem of particular meaning to Smith was chosen to be featured, “Prayer for a Wig: in memory of Elise Partridge” where he honours the late poet and author.
“She passed a couple of years ago and the poem is about her cancer wig— it’s a really sweet poem, a little but funny and a little sad,” Smith said of the 14 lines.
“It’s really exciting and flattering, it sure makes you feel seen in the world. The amazing thing is there are thousands and thousands of people reading poems that they wouldn’t have read on their own. It’s a nice way of bringing that form of art into every day lives.”
His collection of poetry, ‘Bad Ideas’ will be featured on the transit cards as well. The book is a unique capsule of dream interpretations he had his friends and family record when they woke up. Smith then took their recordings and reworked them into poems that he says challenged him to work outside of his regular phrasing and with language he was unfamiliar with.
“It was thrilling because people bring different language, everyone has their own way of expressing themselves, a different rhythm in their language than I’m used to. Working with symbolism, working with dreams —getting lovely images loaded with meanings outside of your own experience in some way working with non-fiction and poetry.”
The collection took its own form and was left untouched for more than ten years before being released to the world.
“You have to sit on it and come back and tinker. They (poems) work better as work machines if you let them sit for a while because they reveal themselves to you slowly. You can make a better word machine if you let it rest.”
For more information about Smith visit his website.
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