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DASHing Words in Motion Poetry Bus Honors 10 Alexandria Poets, Poet Laureate


Six of the ten winners posing outside of a DASH bus. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

ALEXANDRIA, VA–April is National Poetry Month, so the DASHing Words in Motion poetry contest, an annual contest that welcomes poetry from those 16 and older, was held to commemorate that in our city.

On April 15, ten local poets were honored by the Alexandria Transit Company and The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts for their poetry submissions. Their winning submissions are posted inside each bus of the entire DASH bus fleet and on the Office of Arts website.

Maureen Sturgill, Special Events Manager for the City of Alexandria, comments, “We are happy to have this program. It started in 2014 and continued even through COVID… All of the poems have been placed on the DASH buses, so anyone within the city can get on a DASH bus and check out the poetry.”

This year, the winners and their poems are:


Charlene Murphy, Field Trip

Poet Charlene Murphy with her poem Field Trip. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Veeteebee, I’m Moving

Betty Jo Middleton, King Street After Hours

Poet Betty Jo Middleton by her poem King Street After Hours. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

James W. Colby, One Haiku

Devin A. Reese, Pandemic Bus Refuge

Poet Devin A. Reese with her poem Pandemic Bus Refuge. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Zeina Azzam, The People’s Bus

Poet Zeina Azzam with her poem The People’s Bus. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

May-Mei Lee, the things they carry

Poet May-Mei Lee with her poem the things they carry. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Susan Clark Behnke, The Web Masters


KaNikki Jakarta, Poet Laureate of Alexandria, Virginia, also authored a poem, titled Granted Privilege, which can be read inside each DASH bus, along with this year’s winners.

Poet Laureate KaNikki Jakarta with her honorary poem Granted Privilege. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

As the winners posed outside of the DASH bus with their winning poems, Poet Laureate Jakarta stated, “I am happy to be amongst these amazing poets, so happy to be a part of DASHing Words in Motion, just happy that poetry is being celebrated even in the time of COVID.”

Poetry is something to be celebrated indeed. It has a way of cheering and comforting. The DASHing Words in Motion poetry contest is a creative way to spread that cheer and comfort throughout the city, especially in a time when it is needed most.

For more information on the poets and their poetry, biographies can be found here.

The DASHing Words in Motion poetry contest has been held annually since 2014, even through COVID. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

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