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Oct 23, 2018 5:00 PM

Poetry Jukebox installed in Greenwich Village

The Poetry of New York with the Press of a Button



The Poetry of New York with the Press of a Button

Inauguration on Tuesday, October 23rd at 5pm in Greenwich Village

The man behind the invention is Ondřej Kobza, one of the most progressive urban space figures in the Czech Republic.

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. 

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”!

“The idea emerged from scouring pianos and chess sets around Czech cities for about five years. I began to wonder what else could pull people out of their oblivious wandering through city spaces and the idea struck me: a jukebox for poems. Listening to the original voices of poets is one of the most genuine and inspiring experiences a city can offer,” Kobza explains his motivation behind the project.

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?

About Poetry Jukebox 
The project Poetry Jukebox emerged from a love for literature and live events in non-traditional places. Starting in 2015, the installation project based on open source hardware has been supported internationally and aims to challenge the monotony of city spaces by bringing their literary memory to life.

About Ondřej Kobza 
Ondřej Kobza is a Prague based cafés owner and cultural activist with passion for poetry and public space interventions with a sensitive twist. Together with his producer, Michaela Hečková, he also runs a widely successful Czech project called Piána na ulici (Street Pianos): they deploy pianos, chess tables and poetry jukeboxes to streets, squares and parks.

For more infomration:
Nikola Bukajova, +420 720 435 754, nikola.bukajova@volny.cz








Ruth Wittenberg Triangle, Sixth Avenue and Christopher St New York, New York 10012


Oct 23, 2018 5:00 PM


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