A new installation at the Museum of Art in New York, titled, "Dial-a-Poem" brings ecstatic poetry to you online or over the phone at any time of the day or night. Siri just can't compete with the voice of Kathy Acker or Vito Acconci, can she?
John Giorno started "Dial-a-Poem" in 1969, when poetry was concerned with expressing the mundane in modern life. Last year Katie Geha of The Poetry Foundation asked Giorno about the roots of the project, to which he responded: "A friend was talking boring gossip at 11 o’clock in the morning and I didn’t want to hear it and I kept thinking, 'Why am I so irritated? Why couldn’t this voice be reading a poem?'"
Now MoMA is reviving the project as part of the exhibition "Ecstatic Alphabet / Heaps of Language." The show features artists who dismantled words from their meanings and traditions, allowing them to be purely seen and felt.
"Dial-a-Poem" brings you a random poem read aloud by its poet; the list of possibles includes Frank O'Hara, William Burroughs, John Ashbery, Deborah Harry, John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, David Byrne and many more.
There are four telephones for calling poems at the MoMA, or you can dial the local New York number 347-POET001 at any time. You can also listen to poems directly from the "Dial-a-Poem" website.
The exhibition "Ecstatic Alphabet / Heaps of Language" runs until August 27 at MoMA.
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