W.S. Merwin is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who has published more than 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. His poetry explores personal ideals within a free-verse style. Born on September 30, 1927, in New York City, W.S. Merwin is known for his poetry's distinctive sparse style, and his condemnation of the Vietnam War and destruction of the environment. Passion for nature and Buddhism are evident in Merwin's later works.
The mosaic artwork at 53 St Station is by Mickalene Thomas, a Brooklyn-based contemporary artist best known for her mixed-media, rhinestone and enamel paintings that have been exhibited around the world. The collage-like design juxtaposes textile patterns with the imagery of plants found in New York, bringing the beauty of nature and domestic interiors into the station. A repeating geometric pattern of emanating concentric rings carries throughout the piece like a photo flash or solar flare.