On the Buses… With Anna Woodford

My poems aiming to raise awareness of the travel needs of older people are featuring inside First York buses all this month as part of my residency at York University’s CoMotion Centre.

Last Friday I went down to York from my hometown of Newcastle for a press photo. It was surreal seeing the buses trundle past with my poems inside them. The poems are highly visible – yellow and purple posters framed on the wall behind the driver’s seat. Every time one passed I punched the air. Because I’m that cool.

On Monday, I went down with my other half and a camera to ride around on the buses. The idea was to record some of the reactions to the poems. In my head people were going to be clustered around reading them and we might engage in a lively discussion about public art.

We struck out on the first bus we jumped on…

Is that a blank frame or is that a poem waiting to be written?

After waiting a while in the rain, three buses – or poems – came along at once. Of course, no one was reading the poems – probably because they were distracted by the sight of a self-conscious woman craning her neck trying to get into a photo.

It feels like an enormous privilege to have my work out there in this way. I might in my wildest moments have wondered if I would ever bump into someone reading my book on public transport. This feels even better. I’ll be going back next week and maybe this time someone will even be reading one!