Last month Christen Matix, Summer Starr and I shined up our smiles, polished our pens to present our proposal to the downtown Community Food Co-Op. We asked the board’s permission to convert the derelict phone booth on Forest Street, located outside next to the community board, into a Poem Booth. The board loved the idea! Outreach Manager, Adrienne Renz, shares our proposal received “a loud and resounding YES!”
GREEN LIGHT! The Poem Booth team is now working, planning and preparing to launch the project by January 2017.
Please visit the project’s website to follow theKICKSTARTER, find out about the quarterly poetry contest, and for more photos and videos about the Poem Booth.
Throughout the country, phone booths have been abandoned by major telephone companies who can no longer afford to maintain them. Typically the phone is ripped out of the booth, leaving the abandoned structure for local residents to either demolish or transform. We have adopted a defunct phone booth located on the Forest Street side of the Downtown Bellingham Community Co-op as a potential site for renewed communication in the present day. Right now, the booth is being used for an informal conversation of sorts using graffiti and stickers; we envision to expand upon this by transforming it into a site for a curated exchange of poetic language. As community members browse the nearby reader board for community information, they can also peruse the poem booth for a little brightness, beauty, and inspiration.
Our simple goal: To create something that enhances and promotes community.
How to Participate
A new poem is carefully selected by our team every quarter from poets representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and perspectives. Participation by the community is encouraged through our open call for poetry submissions. The selected poem will be displayed in the Poem Booth. Some poetry submissions may also be posted on our website. Readers can submit poems, questions and feedback to us through our email address poemboothbham at gmail dot com.
Shannon P. Laws lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is a published poet, currently working on a series of short stories. For seven years she produced award-winning community radio programs that promoted the PNW music/art community. Shannon's other interests include operating her voice-over company, Chickadee Productions.
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