TelePoem Booth: Where poems replace the dial tone



welcome back well before the age of smartphones telephone booths brain supreme but outside of nostalgic British photography and Doctor Who episodes most phone booths have fallen into disuse and out of fashion but one booth in downtown Flagstaff is starting a new life in creating buzz in creating quite a buzz cordero McMurray have more it's a site many haven't seen since the late 90s but in this mountain town one artist is making a telephone booth a staple for visitors in historic downtown Flagstaff but there's a twist let us first begin by introducing a topic that'll make your head spin instead of dialing a loved one or friend step inside the local telephone booth where you were transported through the power of language and emotion the booth features 220 poems from 80 poets from around the country and in just over a week more than 1,200 poems have already been hurt Elizabeth Hellstern is the artist behind the project she says this small three by three boxes where the metaphoric universe of poetry meets the tangible world poetry is very meaningful but sometimes inaccessible if the listener has to work through touch and through dialing to access the poem i think that opens up doors within themselves that helps them access the meaning people of all ages are taking the time to dial up a love for the art hearing a story like that really digs in see when you listen to it and then you can amend it was a moment to be stopped with language I think that we see language all the time but we're always distracted so walking into a booth and dialing into language and then having nowhere to go but stop and listen makes you really reflect on what you're hearing what you're thinking and for those on the other end of the line the poets whose voices you hear um it just really it's exciting more than anything for me because this is like the weirdest thing that I've ever done it's the most unusual thing it's another way for people to be able to kind of listen and kind of really hear the words that they're listening to and be able to make it relevant and connect it to their own lives and for Hellstern after six long months of hard work and about fifty thousand dollars in expenses this labor of love is finally coming full circle sometimes you forget to celebrate we just feel like a few it's done but it really does feel like a lot of people helped me get here and I'm really really pleasantly surprised with how it turned out so well and it's all just a phone call away Cordero McMurray in AZ today thanks to that Cordero a go fund me page has been started to raise funds for a second booth we'll have a link to that on our website at AZ today calm

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