New Lines for London Underground

A while ago we wrote about the Poetiquette campaign that’s been up on the tubes. A lovely way to encourage people to be less self-involved while they’re travelling.

They’ve now awarded a winner – Jennifer Dart from Rayleigh in Essex, who saw off competition from over 6,000 aspiring poets to be crowned the official winner of the Travel Better London poetry competition.

The poem, which was written on the topic: ‘Avoid Unnecessary Delays. Don’t hold open the doors’, was crowned the winning entry by a panel of judges including Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London, writer George the Poet and Sophie Baker from The Poetry Society.

Her verse has since been immortalised in cartoon form, complete with her very own caricature. It is now being displayed on buses and Tubes across the Capital.

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TfL’s Travel Better London campaign was launched in September 2013 when colourful poetry posters designed by the artist McBess were showcased on London transport encouraging people to consider their fellow passengers when travelling.

There was also another lovely element to the campaign a few years ago – something I just discovered that a copywriting-poet-friend of mine called Amy Acre did with M & C Saatchi. She was hired to be writer-in-residence on various sites all over the tube, writing impromptu poems about little stories of TFL etiquette.

My personal favourite is this one – Your Butt is a hero. Go Amy.

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MIND THE GAP… BETWEEN STANZAS

London Underground wants your lines.

TFL is working on its next round of lovely poetic posters to encourage us all to behave like evolved human beings. You know, the ones that politely suggest we please refrain from scoffing stinky kebabs on the tube, and to for gods sake turn those down wretched headphones…but in a slightly nicer, more charming way.

But this time they’ve opened them up for the public to write.

Of course, we are up to our ears in TV ads which have an amateur poem for a voiceover. But we think you can never have enough poetry in a poster.

So, to all creatives with a repressed Gordon Comstock inside of them – give it your best shot.

The winning poem will not only end up on posters right across the network, but the winning lines will feature in the cartoons too.

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Via Poet of Adland, Rishi Dastidar, whose own effort bears repeating here:

“On the escalator, don’t stop on the left

As those walking down will be bereft.

You won’t have to do anything grand:

Just move to the right if you’d like to stand.”