In Toronto where I spent most of my life, transit riders are treated to short poems by Canadian authors that are posted along with a brief bio of the author on streetcars, buses, and subway cars in a program called Poetry on the Way. To be honest, I often thought the choices were a little tepid — but I appreciated the effort.
But Toronto has nothing on Copenhagen.
According to an article on Guerrilla-innovation.com, a site focused on “(small) creative initiatives that challenge (big) traditional ideas,” the subway system in the Danish capital has recently become, well, a not-so-small press. Displays in metro stations now offer free books by Danish novelists, poets, and graphic artists.
So far there are thirteen such volumes, each printed in 300,000 copies. If you read Danish, you can download your own here. The books are very nicely designed, but given my linguistic limitations I can’t vouch for the quality of their content. If anyone out there is willing to read one and let me know what they think, I’d be happy to post an update.
The entire venture is being run in collaboration with a similar Italian outfit called Subway Edizioni.