Whenever I take the subway in New York, I always look for the Poetry and Motion placards displayed in the cars. Finding a little poem among all the glaring ads and the noise of the train always lifts the spirit by providing a moment of peace and often insight. That is only one of the many reasons why the Poetry Society of America (PSA), the organization to which I have served as a member of the Board of Governors for over 20 years is so dear to my heart.
Since 1992, the PSA has presented Poetry in Motion in New York City and over 30 other cities around the country. The program now reaches over 8 million people every day and is expanding all the time—just this fall it made its debut in Providence, RI and in January it will come to San Francisco.
I write to you this holiday season to alert you to the beautiful new anthology, The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating 25 Years on Subways and Buses. As I write in my foreword to the book, "Here, poems once in motion have come to rest in a book, but they continue to move their readers. And what an imaginative variety of poetic delights is on offer."
The PSA, the nation's oldest organization devoted to poetry, also presents forty to fifty poetry programs across the country every year, the great majority of them free, and the PSA website offers fresh content every week, with exciting features by contemporary poets.
Please consider supporting the efforts of this extraordinary organization during the holiday season. Your generosity and that of others is the anchor of all their efforts.
With warmest wishes,
PS: As a way of saying thank you, the first 100 people to make gifts of $75 or more will receive a copy of The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating 25 Years On Subways and Buses.
Billy Collins is the author of eleven collections of poetry. He was Poet Laureate of the United States of America from 2001 to 2003 and Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004 to 2016. He has been a member of the Poetry Society of America's Board of Governors since 1996 and currently serves as a Vice Chair.
Photo by Bill Hayes.