PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Telepoem Booth to Bring Poetry to Downtown State College

by Geoff Rushton

A new project will bring another artistic attraction to downtown State College and allow visitors to dial up a poem.

A Telepoem Booth will be installed this spring, thanks to a grant from Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund at Centre Foundation. The phone booth lets anyone step inside, choose a poem from a directory, dial the number and hear the poem.

Retired art teacher and State College resident John Ziegler discovered the idea on a trip to Flagstaff, Ariz., where artist Elizabeth Hellstern created the first Telepoem Booth. The one in State College, location to be determined, will be the second in the nation.

“The Telepoem Booth is an interactive art project,” Ziegler explained. “It will provide our community with great accessible poetry, contemporary and classic, through a nostalgic delivery. Much of the work will come from local poets at [Penn State], the public and private schools as well as the poets living in our retirement communities, and also well-known poetry from the public domain.”

Ziegler is leading the project along with Sarah Russell, Steve Deutsch, Katie Bode-Lang and Mary McGuire. They will be collecting local poetry submissions and coordinating the recordings by accepted poets before finalizing the installation of the booth in the spring.

“This booth will add another element of whimsical fun and art to downtown State College,” Centre Foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkel said in a release.

Ziegler added that he was excited to have the foundation support an art project that can be enjoyed by all.

“The grant through Centre Foundation has made possible a project that benefits people of all ages right in the heart of downtown State College,” he said.

Poetry submissions are due by Jan. 1 using an online form. Submissions are open to all local community members, from children to retirees, and up to five poems may be submitted.

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, and all rights will be retained by the author.

“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, email [email protected] or visit the project’s Facebook page.

About the Author

Posts from our partner website


More by

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend