This week, a few of our elementary/middle school students were honored at the debut of a new project called, Grand Poems in Rapid Transit.

Flying overhead,

the plane, big and beautiful.

I’m watching it fly.

Kate Staggs


skiing over the deep snow

in the winter white.

Malachi Verwys

Kate Staggs and Malachi Verwys are two of the six students honored. Their haiku will be placed inside 150 Rapid buses. Jacob Caballero, Lyvinia Anible, Julienne Sinzumunsi, Natalie Waalkes, Bethany Klop, Sofia Brinkerhoff, and Tori Jansma received honorable mention. Their haiku were mounted on posters and displayed at the kick-off event on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at The Rapids Central Station.

The project explained

The project was organized by Lew S. Klatt, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate and Associate Professor of English at Calvin College. He did it  in collaboration with The Rapid, Grand Rapids Public Library, and the following schools and afterschool programs: Creative Youth Center, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities Cook Center, Living Stones Academy, Camp Blodgett Club at Alpine Elementary, and The Potter’s House.

Students participated in poetry workshops and each received a photo from the historical archive at the Grand Rapids Public Library that featured transportation in Michigan from the past 100 years. Students were asked to describe what they saw and they took those descriptions and turned them into haiku, which is a Japanese form of poetry that follows a 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable pattern.

We are very proud of the accomplishments of our students. The next time you ride the Rapid, be sure to look for Kate and Malachi’s haikus.