Elizabeth Hellstern, Owen William Fritts

Telepoem Booth® Acequia Madre

Elizabeth Hellstern, Owen William Fritts

Cerrillos, New Mexico

Acequia Aqui Featured Artist, Sponsored by The LOR Foundation

Since cell phones, telephone booths have become artifacts of obsolete telecommunications. In the Telepoem Booth®, the pulse technology of the rotary phone and dual-tone multi-frequency of the push-button phone are re-invented as a communication tool and answered with poetry recordings on mp3 files.

Telepoem Booths were created to honor the “lost object” of telephone booths and to highlight the intimacy of communication created with recordings of poets reading their own poetry. Each “caller” is important to the creative cycle of the art piece, as they choose their own Telepoem number and make their own free phone call. We will combine this unique delivery method with oral histories and poetry in the Telepoem Booth® Acequia del Madre to highlight the importance of Taos’ water culture of the Acequia del Madre del Río Pueblo.

The Telepoem Booth® Acequia del Madre will feature poems collected from local poets revolving around acequia culture. This Telepoem Booth® will also feature snippets and summarizations of the essays included in the Acequia Aqui booklet and the recorded voices of the “faces of the acequia”.

Call for Submissions
The Telepoem Booth®, a vintage phone booth that one can dial-a-poem for free on the rotary phone, is now accepting submissions from poets, writers and storytellers in Taos County for poems, micro-essays and recollections about WATER to include in the Telepoem Booth for The PASEO Festival, Sept. 13-14. Submissions must be in by Aug. 16, 2019. There will be a $25 honorarium for each piece chosen.

Each piece submitted must be written by the submitter. Previously published materials are acceptable with publisher’s permissions. Submissions will be chosen based on their “poetic” merit as well as the quality of the reader’s interpretation, (i.e. “does it translate well as an audio piece for the Telepoem Booth?”) The accepted pieces will be available to dial and listen to in the Telepoem Booth® Taos, as well as other Telepoem Projects nationally, including in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, NM and beyond.

The Telepoem Booth is dedicated to providing representation of voices and perspectives from all humans from all walks and cultures. Please submit word documents of the poem or story and audio recordings of your poem in mp3 format to elizabeth@telepoembooth.com. Deadline to submit is Aug. 16, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be given by Aug. 23.
Please contact us with any questions, recording or otherwise.

Telepoem Booth® Recording Guidelines
Thank you for submitting your poem to the Telepoem Booth! We ask that you attempt to
provide the highest quality recording for the listeners.

1. You can record audio on most smartphones, through the freely downloaded
computer program “Audacity”, or through a number of other applications.
2. Practice your poem. Expression and meaning are paramount when recording for
the Telepoem Booth. Remember, your poem will now become an audio
experience, not just words on a page. The reading should be smooth and
compelling, with no stumbles or awkward pauses.
3. Record your poem in a quiet room. Make sure there is no street noise, television,
telephone or any computer noises on the recording.
4. Start your recording with the first line of the poem (unless the title is considered
the first line.)
5. No need to state your name, but if you wish to, that’s okay as well.
6. No mic drops, coughs or paper rustling. If the cat meows, start over. If there is a
static hum in the background, find a quieter environment.|
7. Wait for a few moments before and after the poem to provide enough ambient
background for editing purposes.

Telepoem Booths are aural, kinesthetic, haptic and interactive art pieces that highlight the literary and communication arts. They are inclusive of all voices and bring word off the page and into a meaningful experience. The Telepoem Booth® Acequia del Madre will consist of one ADA compatible vintage telephone booth with rotary phone. The artist will be on site to dial numbers for those that are physical unable.

Dialing up and hearing the actual voices of the poets, essayists and “faces of the acequia” in the Telepoem Booth® Acequia del Madre will build upon the lessons and information collected in Phase One of the Paseo Project and provide a multi-media way for participants to understand the historic downtown acequia network.

About the artist: Elizabeth Hellstern is a writer and an artist, working to make word as interactive as possible. Her artwork includes national placements of the public art installation the Telepoem Booth®, where members of the public can dial-a-poem on a phone in a vintage phone booth. She is the author of the experimental poetry flow-chart series, How To Live: A Suggestive Guide from Tolsun Books and the editor of Telepoem Booth® Santa Fe: Collected Calls from SkyHeart Editions and Telepoem Booth® Anthology: A Celebration of Phone Booths and Poetry forthcoming from SkyHeart Editions. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University. Her multi-genre writing work has appeared in journals such as Hotel Amerika, American Journal of Poetry, North Dakota Quarterly, Slag Glass City, Queen Mob’s Tea House, The Tusculum Review, Inner Child Press, New World Writing and Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Her creative projects have received funding from the Santa Fe Commission for the Arts, the Knight Foundation, Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, and New Mexico Humanities Council. She lives in Cerrillos with her partner in an off-grid shipping container home.

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