Each year the National Book Foundation, with support from the Levenger Foundation, awards the Innovations in Reading Prize to an individual or organization who discovers new ways to empower communities through literature. In 2017, the Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion received honorable mention.
The Poetry Society of America, the nation’s oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910. Its mission is to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, to support poets through an array of programs and awards, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.
Poetry in Motion engages over 8,000,000 transit riders nationwide with pithy poems posted in place of advertising on public transit systems in cities around the country. What the program provides—the unique and unexpected opportunity to read poetry and to engage with dynamic, excellent literature as a community, and even to find private meaning in the midst of a city’s public places—remains precious to many. Currently the program runs in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Portland, Oregon, and will make its debut in San Francisco in 2018.