By Meg Grey
INDIANAPOLIS — For the next year, people riding on IndyGo buses will be able to enjoy “Shared Spaces/Shared Voices,” an innovative public art project that pairs public transportation with poetry written by Hoosiers.
One of the featured poets will be North Salem resident Teresa Wyeth. Her piece will be featured on a plaque on three of the 150 IndyGo buses.
Wyeth said her poem, “Sitting on a bus with strangers,” is an original piece that she wrote specifically for the contest. She said it was chosen by the Arts Council of Indianapolis because it represents the theme.
Wyeth said her poem is about a man talking to himself on a bus. He is a compilation of people she has seen over the years as she rides the bus to go downtown. She said she goes downtown frequently and thought about the people on the bus who talk to themselves and how they had once been children like everyone else.
“We’re all basically the same,” she said. “It’s just that we undergo different circumstances.”
Wyeth claims to have been a poet her whole life but admits that she only began to take it seriously about five years ago. Since then, she has won several poetry contests and is also in the running to have one of her poems etched in glass as part of the redesign of the Indianapolis International Airport terminal. That piece stems from her travels, life on the farm, and Indiana.
She said it’s exciting to see poetry being brought out into the open in such a positive way. Wyeth said poetry has gotten a bad rap over the years because many people think you have to be smart to enjoy it. She said it’s refreshing to have so many people excited about her passion.
“Poetry is fun and accessible to everyone,” Wyeth said.
The project will kick off with live poetry readings on the buses Aug. 25 to Sept. 3. Wyeth is scheduled to read from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 and 28 on bus route 8, which picks up on Washington Street and runs from Washington Square Mall to the airport and route 17, which picks up on College Avenue and runs from Broad Ripple to Mass Avenue.
Cost is $1.25 per person per trip.
Mef Grey writes for the Hendricks County Flyer in Avon, Ind.