Poetry Jukebox

by Joseph McKeown


Poetry Jukebox in Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle in Manhattan.

Poetry Jukebox in Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle in Manhattan.

Poetry Jukebox is a simple but ingenious project that plays poems on demand. Installed in Greenwich Village, visitors can press a button and hear poems from such New York City residents as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sara Teasdale, Grace Paley, James Baldwin, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jack Kerouac, among others. Originally started in Prague by Ondřej Kobza, a café owner and cultural activist with passion for poems and literature, along with producer and writer Michaela Hečková, the project has spread to Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, and Germany, all with different poems in each location to reflect the literary heritage of each place. The creators of the Poetry Jukebox are focused on animating public spaces in cities and showing “how people can make their own cities more livable.”