This past summer we opened submissions for our latest round of bus poems. The theme was “The City’s Changing Face”, and here’s what we asked for:

As we celebrate our country’s birthday on Canada Day, we want you to tell us about the changes you see in your city! Edmonton is a complex social and physical structure that is continually evolving. Show us how those evolutions have inspired you! Who are the new faces in your neighborhood? How has the city skyline changed? What stands in place of the farmer’s field where you grew up? How have the voices of marginalized communities changed? Who are todays Edmontonians? This is your city – we want you tell its story in poetry.

We received a lot of great submissions, and we are pleased to announce the winning authors and their poems. Congratulations to all our winners, and special thanks to all who submitted their to this round of The Poetry Route.

Here are the poems by our winners:

The Sunrise Sets
by Aaron Everingham

the sun nods in the bronze puddle
that spills out from the horizon
of arabesque silhouettes
and the refineries are
steel ablaze
arms churning
madmen running uphill
the sun winks and begins to reverse
slinking beneath the puddle over the
burning edge of chaos and we are young again


by Kayleigh Cline

Once, we knit our fingers together to capture courage
and cross this field with its fog, which I told you
was a pile of ghosts—that’s why we had to run fast.

Now, technically, this place has more life-per-square-foot:
a skyscraper stacked with people, layer upon layer,
is no less natural than a field of Old World weeds.

But, oh, remember
how those infant dandelions sparked at our heels
as we ran?


by Wendy McGrath

Two of us balanced on that hard-worn path
dividing Ada Boulevard’s four-squares
from trees and scrub bush that slope toward the river
and you surprised me by looking so scrawny, so wanting.
I had expected you to be more the wolf,
instead you wore a dry scruff of hot afternoon.

Hesitating, you looked at me with cynical pity
then turned from the path, shaking off the city.


Kinistino Avenue (a.k.a 96 Street)
by Gary Garrison

Go down 96 Street to 1912
when all our roads had names.
Go to Grace Methodist on Sutherland Street.
Catch the city’s first streetcar in 1908.
Stand at Ross and Kinistino before World War I:
one French, one English Catholic church tête-à-tête.
Stroll 96 Street now. Count all the churches.
Count the kids at the rink, the soupline patrons,
the languages, the skin tones, the greetings from locals,
the years since Treaty 6 and the street’s Cree name.