poetry box

April 11, 2019

We’ve posted before about poetry boxes. Typically (can we say typically in reference to anything poetic?) these are some version of the boxes used to distribute real estate flyers. They’re filled with copies of poems for passersby to take and enjoy. This one’s a little different.

Set up in 2016 by Tricia Cimera Whitworth, the Fox Poetry Box presents, each week, a new poem framed for viewing. Located in St. Charles, Illinois, the box’s featured poems have been selected from submissions from around the world (currently closed).

We’re pleased to see the Cascadia region represented with this poem, “The Moon XVIII,” by Tacoma poet and spoken word performer Leah Mueller, which was featured in the Fox Poetry Box in February 2019.

Read more about the Fox Poetry Box in this article by Leah Mueller in Quail Bell Magazine or visit Fox Poetry Box on Facebook.


more poetry boxes…

August 24, 2013

Ana Flores poetry box

We’ve written before about poetry boxes, which are cropping up in neighborhoods everywhere. The artist Ana Flores is creating poetry boxes “to engage communities with their landscape through poetry, art and hiking.” In southern Rhode Island, Colorado Springs and Mystic, Connecticut, Ana Flores works with local residents to build and install boxes that contain “poems about nature and a journal for public response.”

Read more about Poetry of the Wild and Ana Flores, including an article in September/October 2013 issue of Poets & Writers.
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Thanks to Susan J. Erickson for the heads-up on Ana Flores.

The Poetry Jukebox

January 8, 2019

Not sure how we missed this poetry project, but it definitely deserves a spot here! The Poetry Jukebox originated in Prague as Pianos on the Streets. Café owner and cultural activist Ondřej Kobza, along with producer and writer Michaela Hečková, focus on the “animation of public space in cities.” During the last four years they have installed about 50 pianos and 60 chess tables in public places and have now turned their attention to The Poetry Jukebox, saying,

“The Poetry Jukebox is a jukebox with poetry. We believe that listening to the original voices of poets is one of the most beautiful and inspiring experiences a city can offer.”

With jukeboxes in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Philippines, and an earlier New York version installed in 2016 in front of CBGB with the support of the Bowery Poetry Club, the latest was installed in Greenwich Village at the Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle at Sixth Ave. and Eighth St.

“You walk by, you press a button, you hear a poem. It’s strikingly simple and, well, kind of genius.”

Read more about the Greenwich Village jukebox in The Villager, and learn more about the project on The Poetry Jukebox website and on Facebook.

Mark your calendar for the first Sunday of the month at 5:00pm, as a series of summer sidewalk readings present the voices of Bellingham poets. If you show up at 1507 Larrabee, in Fairhaven, look for the book box and that’s where the the readings will be held.

June 3 ~ Shannon P. Laws
July 1 ~ Donna Rushing
August 5 ~ Jim Bertolino & Anita K. Boyle
September 2 ~ Nancy Canyon

See you there!

poetry by the pie

April 21, 2017

Here’s one for the good idea file. In New Orleans, today is the 4th Annual Pizza Poetry Day.

The mission of Big Class “is to cultivate and support the voices of New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18 through creative collaborations with schools and communities.” For Pizza Poetry Day, Big Class encourages students throughout the city to submit poems, which are judged, selected and eventually printed so they can be attached to pizza boxes for the day’s deliveries. The project partners with six local pizza parlors, a number that seems to be growing each year along with enthusiasm for pizza poetry.

And that’s not all. “This year, Big Class’s Pizza Poetry Project and the New Orleans Youth Open Mic are coming together to launch The New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival (#NOYPF). NOYPF is a 3 day event taking place around New Orleans during April (National Poetry Month) with events on April 19th, 21st and 22nd, 2017.”

Good work, NOLA!

growing poetry

April 6, 2016

Popper Box Paddington

We’re sorry we missed seeing this ephemeral project, but the photos are lovely. Paddington Reservoir Gardens is a heritage-listed site in Sydney, Australia. Once a functioning reservoir, it was restored and reopened in its current form in 2009. In 2012, Popper Box, a collective of local artists, installed a temporary exhibit, Modern Day Mossages, on one wall of the garden.

A line of poetry, “Standing in the warmest light,” was created in living moss, which was affixed to the wall with a mix of soil, beer and yogurt. The artists watered their work over the course of the one-month installation. Visit the Popper Box Paddington Reservoir page and click Process Two (then Next) to see process photos, including stencils and application of the moss. See the completed project at Final.

JSTOR | Daily

Metaphor plays a lively role in poetry. As linguist Chi Luu explains in her article, “It Turns Out Ordinary Life is Full of Poetry (Metaphorically Speaking)” as well. If you’re interested in metaphor, have a look at this very readable article in JSTOR | Daily.

poetry contest

September 14, 2015

Skagit River Poetry

The Skagit River Poetry Foundation has announced its second biennial Phyllis L. Ennes Poetry Contest, honoring the late, passionate arts supporter from Anacortes. The contest is open to all Pacific Northwest poets, of all ages, writing in all poetic forms. There are separate categories for adult and student submissions, with a $500 award to the first place adult winner and a $100 award to the first place student winner.

Winning poems will be published in the Skagit River Poetry Festival anthology, and winners will be included in the lineup of the ninth biennial festival, May 19-22, 2016, in La Conner. The contest judge will be esteemed Copper Canyon Press editor Michael Wiegers.

Interested poets can submit three previously unpublished poems in a single Word document to skagitcontest@gmail.com. Include your name, home address, email address, and phone number. There is a blind* reading fee of $15 for each three-poem submission. Checks can be made payable to the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. The address is P.O. Box 238, La Conner, WA 98257. The submission deadline is December 15, 2015. Winners will be announced in April 2016.

*Ed. note: blind reading suggests that the poet’s name and contact information should be included in the cover letter but NOT appear on the poem.

the wrong place for poetry

November 10, 2014

Mandeville, Louisiana, poetry box

Mandeville, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, might not strike you as a likely spot for a poetry kerfuffle, but good intentions in the name of poetry have indeed backfired.

We’ve written before, on several occasions, about the appeal of poetry boxes — weatherproof boxes stocked with favorite poems for passersby to take and enjoy. It was exactly that appeal that inspired Robin Hurston, who proposed a series of poetry boxes for the Lake’s north shore. Hurston, who relocated to Coquille, Oregon, after Hurricane Katrina and installed 13 poetry boxes there, thought the idea would be a good fit for Mandeville when she returned to Louisiana.

Initially received as “overwhelmingly positive,” the boxes quickly inspired rancor, not for their content but for their design and placement.

Read more in The New Orleans Advocate. View an impressive map of poetry box locations in Portland, Oregon. See a slide show of poetry boxes and sculptures by Ana Flores, “Poetry of the Wild.”

…And be careful where you put your poetry!
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photo by Scott Threlkeld

poetry to share

October 2, 2014

poetry boxWhether you call it a poetry box or a poetry post, it’s an appealing idea: sharing the poems you love with anyone who wants one. (We’ve mentioned this subject before, here and here, for example.)

The photo, from Walter Magazine out of Raleigh, North Carolina, shows a poetry box installed by poets Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar in front of their Raleigh home.

If you’re curious about poetry boxes/posts/poles, here are a few places to find inspiration: watch the videos, Jim Bodeen’s Poetry Pole (and the related post from Blue Begonia Press) and Portland’s Poetry Posts; look at the Poetry Box page on Facebook (click on Photos and browse the albums); and see the map of Portland (OR) poetry posts. Here’s an L.A. Times profile on a local poetry box-er and an article about a poetry box installed in a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, park.

If you have other favorite poetry box links or stories, please leave a Comment!
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