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.
We are the project called Pianos on the Streets, originally from Prague. The author of the Poetry Jukebox installation and other projects and public space interventions is Ondřej Kobza, Prague based cafés owner and cultural activist with passion for poems, literature in general and live events in non-traditional places. Together with his colleague, cultural manager, producer and writer, Michaela Hečková, he is continually looking for international partners for their project The Poetry Jukebox. We are focused on animation of public space in cities and during last four years we installed about 50 public space pianos and about 60 public space chess tables in the streets, park and squares and just tried to show the possibilities of how people can make their own cities more livable.
How does it work?
The Poetry Jukebox generally contains
20 poems, just in mp3 form.
The dramaturgy of The Poetry Jukebox,
the selected authors and their literary creations, should reflect the contemporary situation in the particular city, the country, or the whole world.
Each Poetry Jukebox in the world has it own selection of poetry. And, if you want, you would be the one, who prepares it.
The sound installation is based on the principles of sound devices or instruments such as a megaphone, a gramophone, or a speaking-trumpet.
The object is made of steel. There are three parts to it, which are assembled once it is installed on the particular location. Inside, there is an electronic system based on the Arduino open source hardware and software.
The object has a press button control system, which allows everybody to choose his/her favorite poems easily.
The project is supported by the Czech Centres in Europe and CzechTourism in USA.
We already collaborate with The Poetry Society in the UK, Edinburgh, the City of literature in Scotland and so on.
How does it look?
WHAT YOU CAN SEE IS:
height: 180 cm
width: 0,273 cm
weight: 230 kg / 507 pounds (but
delivery in three parts)
pedestal dimensions: 70 x 70 cm
pedestal material: reinforced concrete
not necessarily grounded
WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE IS:
one loud-speaker inside
microprocessor, on which the
poems are stored (mp3 format)
needs a connection to electricity
(via an extension cable, or via
the public lighting)
a strip of 20 neopixel RGB led lights
is used for the signalization of the
files in the mp3 format, which are
stored on a second SD card, are played
by a special mp3 module
the playback is done via an 18W mono
the device is controlled by a single
tamper proof button
The Poetry Jukebox is powered by a 12V
DC, and it gets 5V from a step-down
The Poetry Jukebox exists in two
versions, the first one is powered by
the main supply, the second one by the
street lamp circuit
there is even another SD card for
counting the statistics of listening
New Poetry Jukebox installed in Greenwich Village. Inauguration taking place Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018, 5pm. No, it's not a disoriented submarine, nor a particularly excited exhaust pipe peeking from underneath the asphalt of Ruth E. Wittenberg triangle. It's a poetry jukebox, doing exactly as the name suggests: playing poetry on demand. You walk by, you press a button, you hear a poem. It’s strikingly simple and, well, kind of genius. You probably won't find “Hound dog” on its track list - but you might as well go for another dogged crowd pleaser, Ginsberg’s “Howl”! This is not the first installation of the ingenious concept into foreign territory. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, and Germany have all experienced the Jukebox, specifically designed to reflect the literary memory of its surroundings. Even New York City has one already: you might catch a glimpse of it in front of the Bowery Poetry Club, just around the corner from where the infamous CBGB once stood. Its grand opening in 2016 coincided with Allen Ginsberg’s 90th birthday anniversary, so it's no wonder its “tracks” feature a selection of 20 beat generation poems by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and others. And the new acquisition in Greenwich Village? Will it be the uncatchable flow of Frank O'Hara? Perhaps the ominous echo of a certain romantic amateur ornithologist? Come and listen for yourself! The new installation for passers-by of the triangle between 6th Ave and 8th Street will be inaugurated on Tuesday, Oct 23 2018 at 5pm with a live performance in the honorable presence of Hynek Kmoníček, the current Czech Republic Ambassador to the United States.Show on the map
We are glad to return to North Moravia. Another place where you can now listen to the poem in the public space is Hlučín. We installed the Poesiomat in cooperation with the local Sport and Culture Organization Hlučín. Among the artists that you can listen to include local poets such as Radek Fridrich, Dan Jedlička, Lenka Daňhelová, Jan Němček, Radek Glabazňa or Irena Štastná.Show on the map
The first mobile Poetry Jukebox in Slovak Republic we prepare in our collaboration with the Czech Centre in Bratislava.
Come and listen for yourself. Inauguration taking place Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018, 5pm on the place of the triangle between 6th Ave and 8th Street.