RATP has a long-standing association with literature, and poetry in particular. More than 80% of our passengers say that they read during their journeys on our transport networks. RATP sponsors a number of literary events, such as Lire en fête, the Salon du Livre, and Printemps des poètes.
- Play on words with “Des lignes et des rimes”
- Poetry for the People
- A “Textopolitain” for the Paris Book Fair
- Gallimard, centenarian extraordinaire
Play on words with “Des lignes et des rimes”
RATP has launched a new campaign in 2012, “Des lignes et des rimes”. For the last part of the year, the theme chosen is wordplay. Find out more on ratp.fr: track down Pierre Coran, Jacques Gaucheron, Michel Besnier and Jean-François Mathé for a few moments of pleasure.
Their poems will be on display for a number of weeks on the platforms of metro and RER stations.
Poetry for the People
As well as displaying the work of great French poets such as Verlaine, Rimbaud and Apollinaire since 1992, the company has also organised a number of poetry competitions. Five contests have been held since the turn of the century, presided over by notable figures from the arts, such as Yann Queffelec, Pierre Perret, Jacques Weber, -M-, Sapho, and David Foenkinos in 2012. Each has attracted nearly 10,000 entries. The winners have had their poems displayed on our trains, platforms and website alongside those of Verlaine, Hugo, Villon and Garcia Lorca. In recent years, the RATP has branched out into literature, running an SMS poetry competition in partnership with the Centre national du livre, as well as the Paroles’n'Rock campaign, which saw lyrics by international artists performing at the Rock en Seine festival displayed in the metro.
A pleasant surprise for passengers: for a few minutes, RATP’s service announcements are replaced by poems read by actors Robin Renucci and Marianne Epin as part of Printemps des Poètes 2010.
The Saint-Germain-des-Prés station (line 4) each year hosts a poetry book exhibition accompanied by short poems projected against the ceiling.
In keeping with the 2012 edition’s theme “Childhood” (Enfances), the Saint-Germain-des-Prés station (line 4) hosted an exhibition which brought together books and poems that illustrate all the richness, diversity and timeliness of poetry books.
The event was an opportunity to highlight poetry that takes children to be, if not its exclusive interlocutor, at least its primary audience when it comes to “poetry for young people.”
A “Textopolitain” for the Paris Book Fair
To mark the opening of the 2011 Paris Book Fair (Salon du Livre) and the publication of “Textopolitains”, the Paris Book Fair, Editions Casterman and RATP have joined forces to create a special Book Fair edition of “Textopolitain”.
A video review of the event: [This content is not available in English]
For the 2012 edition of the Paris Book Fair, Les Causeuses were invited centre stage. Over a 4-day period aboard tramways T2 and T3, Les Causeuses would take aside passengers one or two at a time and read them texts in hushed voices. In addition, there was a contest offering 500 tickets to the Book Fair.
Gallimard, centenarian extraordinaire
Gallimard, the famous publishing house, celebrated its centennial in 2011. Official partner of this prestigious event, RATP helped celebrate the occasion throughout the year:
• A large-scale exhibition was presented last spring along the platforms of the Rue du Bac metro station (Line 12)
• An exhibition detailing a century of publishing was held at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), France’s national library, from March to July
• Scenography was displayed in the showcases located along the platforms of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro station (Line 4) from April to July
• Rue Sébastien Bottin, where Gallimard’s head office is located, was renamed Rue Gaston Gallimard on 15 June
• Poems were on display in the metro trains in December (see below).
A video review of the Rue du Bac exhibition.
This partnership is a natural extension of RATP’s already close relations with Gallimard, since numerous poems displayed in the networks come from the publisher’s poetry archives.