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Poet Takes the Pole: The Reemergence of an Official Poet at the Indy 500

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When you think of the Indianapolis 500, poetry probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. The race hasn’t had an official poet since 1920, when William Herschell’s poems were printed in the race program each year. This year, the organization Indiana Humanities wanted to bring back the Indy 500 official poet, so they ran a contest to pick the best poem to be read at qualifications. Bloomington resident Adam Henze was the winner. The 100th running of the race has come and gone, but reviving the tradition of the race-day poet is just the beginning of integrating art into the Motor Speedway. WFHB Reporter Kacey Ross, who happens to be a native of Speedway, sat down with Adam before he read his poem at qualifications to talk about his work and how the Indianapolis 500 is incorporating more arts into the race. We bring you that story now for today’s WFHB community report.

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