Poetry submissions are requested for Telepoem Booth in State College

STATE COLLEGE –Visitors to downtown State College will soon be able to enjoy a new attraction, a Telepoem Booth. This spring, people will be able to enter the phone booth and call up a poem recitation. The poems will be classic, modern and curated from local poets, community members and students.

After visiting Flagstaff, Arizona ,and discovering an interactive Telepoem Booth there, John Ziegler knew he had to bring one to State College.

“John enthusiastically brought this idea back from Flagstaff and, thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund here at Centre Foundation, we’ll soon be able to enjoy a Telepoem Booth right here in Centre County,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation. “This booth will add another element of whimsical fun and art to downtown State College.”

Ziegler is spearheading the effort along with Sarah Russell, Steve Deutsch, Katie Bode-Lang, and Mary McGuire. The team will collect local poetry submissions, review them, coordinate the recordings of accepted poems by their respective poets, and finalize the installation of the Telepoem Booth next year.

“The Telepoem Booth is a unique way to bring poems to people’s daily lives,” Ziegler said. “We will have classical and modern poems, as well as the work of our local poets — all available by dialing a rotary phone in an old-fashioned phone booth and hearing a poem read by a poet.”

Poetry submissions are due by Jan. 1, 2017. All local community members  — from grade schoolers to retirees — are encouraged to submit a poem. Poets may submit up to five poems. Other guidelines include:

¯ Each poem should be no more than 40 lines.

¯ Any topic is encouraged, but sexually graphic and/or hateful content will not be considered.

¯ Previously published poems may be submitted, with credit given to the original publisher.

¯ All rights will be retained by the author.

Submissions will receive a response in February.

“Poems on any topic are welcome, as long as they fit the submission criteria,” Russell said. “This includes narrative, free and rhymed verse, and slam poetry. We want folks to have fun and maybe even be inspired when they pick up the receiver and dial a poem.”

For more information, e-mail TelepoemBooth@gmail.com and like the Facebook page.