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Poetry in motion

  Alumni Profile  

Johannah Bomster ’84 worked for 18 months to bring the Poetry In Motion© program to Minneapolis- St. Paul. When she finally did, the literature outreach program—featuring illustrated poster-poems in Metro Transit city buses serving 250,000 riders daily—won the Quality of Life award from the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. In April she presented the poems to Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate.The Twin Cities joins 14 other metro areas in the program sponsored nationally by the Poetry Society of America. The poets featured, including Louise Erdrich, James Wright, Eugene McCarthy, and Bob Dylan, all have a Minnesota connection.“We wanted to use John Berryman,” said Bomster, “but one requirement of the program is that the poems be uplifting in tone, and we’re still searching for that uplifting Berryman poem.”Bomster majored in studio art at Cornell. Even then, she was an advocate of public transportation, fondly remembering her block break bus trips to Iowa City. At Cornell, she twice won the Lane Prize for Poetry. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. Publications include the chapbook The Men in my Life: A Cenozoic Series, a prose piece in photographer Catherine Opie’s “Skyways and Icehouses” exhibit catalogue for the Walker Art Center, and a range of articles for trade and online journals.

Bomster works as a public arts coordinator, editor, writing facilitator, and poet. She lives with her partner, Howard Kroll, and their two children, Meredith and Jonas, in Minneapolis.

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