THURSDAY 3 OCT 2013 3:50 PM


Coinciding with National Poetry Day on October 3rd, a collection of London poets, including rising star Amy Acre who appeared at this year's Latitude festival, will give recitals this week at some of London's busiest train and tube stations.

The recitals are a part of a wider TfL ‘Travel Better London’ marketing campaign. The project aims to get commuters to think twice about dropping litter, obstructing doors and committing other anti-social behaviour that contributes to travel delays on the tube.

"This project is a great opportunity to get poetry out there to more people that maybe would never listen to it and it wouldn't occur to them that they might like it,” said Acre. "I think people when they're on the tube are so in that zone of huddling in and just getting through it and getting to work. It's nice to give people something a bit different and maybe inspire them and make them think in a different way, even if it's just for a minute.”

The campaign will also feature poster ads with drawings by graphic artists illustrating poetry urging commuters to be more considerate during their journeys. One such ad features the lines: "It's tempting to obstruct the doors, until you know what this can cause. It doesn't just delay the train, but can cause damage, hurt and pain."

The London public transport authority has also set up a Tumblr page to reach young people on an alternative but popular online platform. The page invites travellers to submit their own four-to-six-line poems inspired by their experiences in an attempt to create an active and engaged audience to the campaign.

The launch of the "poetiquette" campaign aims to cut down the 400 hours of tube train delays that occur each year, which the TfL say could be avoided by small changes to commuters' habits. They added that in 2012 there were 469 incidents involving litter leading to delays, with 81% caused by litter caught in train doors, while more than 1,000 passengers fell ill while travelling on the tube network.

Poets will be performing at nine key London stations at lunchtime and during the evening commute for the entire week, with further pop-up performances around the TfL network. Stations where they will be appearing include; Liverpool Street (Deanna Rodger), Waterloo (Dan Simpson), London Bridge (Amy Acre) and Leicester Square (Joolz Sparkes), to name a few.


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