Poems on the Underground

The Poetry Society and Poems on the Underground join forces to promote one of Britain’s most successful public art projects. As well as being displayed on underground trains throughout the capital, school members of The Poetry Society receive a set of Poems on the Underground posters each time they are released.

Poems are selected by Judith Chernaik, Imtiaz Dharker, and George Szirtes. The posters are designed by Tom Davidson, and the project is generously supported by London Underground (TfL), Arts Council England and the British Council.

Individual posters, or sets of posters, are available through The Poetry Society shop: we ask for £3.50 for an individual poster or £9.99 for a set in order to cover the storage, handling, UK postage and packing costs. If you live overseas, the charge will increase in order to cover additional postage costs.  You can also find them at the London Transport Museum.

A free leaflet of ‘30 Poems for 30 Years’, published in celebration of Poems on the Underground’s
30 years, is available from London Transport Museum and selected tube stations.

Poems on the Underground (Penguin 2015) is available in paperback from all good bookshops.

Poems on the Underground (Set 99)

A new set of Poems on the Underground went live on the tube on 12th February for four weeks. The poems celebrate the strong links between past and present, London and Lithuania, East and West, with young and established poets well represented. This set of Poems on the Underground also celebrates 20 years of The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, and we are pleased to feature two former winners of the competition, Safrina Ahmed and Kyle Spencer, as well as 2017 judge Sinéad Morrissey.

The poems and poets:

Layers of Kant reveal: by Safrina Ahmed, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award winner in 2011

Astral Enlightenment by Kyle Spencer, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award commended in 2017

Two poems by past winners of The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, celebrating 20 years of support for poets aged 11-17.

Grasmere Journal, 1801 by Sinéad Morrissey

A poem made of simple lines about daily life, taken from Dorothy Wordsworth’s 1801 journal, transformed into memorable poems by her brother William and their friend Coleridge, and adapted for the 21st century by a leading Northern Ireland poet.

Love by Hannah Lowe

A love poem evoking ordinary life in London’s multi-cultural East End, by the new Poet-in-Residence at Keats House, Hampstead, where Keats wrote many of his greatest poems.

Look there he goes even now, my father’ by Daljit Nagra

A love poem to his Sikh Punjabi father by an award-winning London poet.

A Date on Sunday by Antanas Šimkus

A different kind of love poem by a prominent Lithuanian poet, marking the Centenary of Restoration of the State of Lithuania, following the Armistice of 1918.

Cuckoo (‘Has it flown away’) by Fujiwara no Toshinari

translated by Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite

A traditional poem by a 12th century Japanese poet, as meaningful to 21st century Londoners as it was to Japanese readers a thousand years ago.

Poems on the Underground, now in its 32nd year, is supported by TfL, the British Council, and Arts Council England, which has just confirmed a four-year award to the project as a National Portfolio Organisation. Poems are selected by writer Judith Chernaik and poets Imtiaz Dharker and George Szirtes. Design is by Tom Davidson. The poems are featured on the websites of TfL, the Poetry Society, the British Council, and other organisations. Posters are available from The Poetry Society and London Transport Museum.

Working in partnership with Poems on the Underground - logo

Get the latest set