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Czechs install poetry jukeboxes at several places in Britain

Prague Daily Monitor, 4 May 2016

Prague/London, May 3 (CTK) - A Poetry Periscope, or a poetry jukebox which cafe owner Ondrej Kobza previously invented and installed in the Czech Republic, has been launched outside the British Library in London and is set to later tour more places in Britain, Petra Jungwirthova has told CTK on Tuesday.

She was speaking on behalf of the Czech Centres that organise the British version of the project that is known as Poesiomat in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Centre in London has organised the Poetry Periscope tour within the European literature festival, which it also organises.

After London, the Periscope stand will tour the Poetry Festival in Ledbury, the Book Fair in Durham, and the towns of Brighton and Birmingham.

The Poetry Periscope is an automat that recites poetry according to the user's choice. Its shape is derived from appliances such as a loudspeaker or a gramophone in order to emphasise its main task, which is to reproduce poetry for the broad public.

The first Poesiomat appeared in a Prague square a year ago. Later, some more mushroomed elsewhere in Europe.

New ones are going to be installed in Venice, Lodz, Berlin and New York.

The British Periscope differs from all its predecessors abroad. It its the first jukebox to offer not only poetry in the host country's language but also poems from across the European continent, both in their original wordings, recited by their respective authors, and their English translations.

The representative collection of European poetry will become a part of the British Library Archive.

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