Ends on

Call for Submissions

The Telepoem Booth®, a vintage phone booth that one can dial-a-poem for free on the rotary or push-button phone, is now accepting submissions from poets and writers in the State of Iowa for recordings of poems, micro-essays or songs to include in the Telepoem Booth® Iowa. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2020. Notification will be given soon after. 

Submissions from all ages, especially school-age children are encouraged. The submissions will be juried by Iowa Poet Laureate Debra Marquart, Iowa poet Rustin Larson and Telepoem Booth creator Elizabeth Hellstern. 

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® Iowa, as well as other Telepoem Projects nationally, including in Santa Fe, NM and beyond.

The Telepoem Booth is dedicated to providing representation of voices and perspectives from all humans from all walks and cultures. We accept poetry that is well-written, easy to listen to and represents the Telepoem Booth community of Iowa. We do not take violent or hate-filled pieces. 

Please Submit the Following:

  • AUDIO RECORDINGS in mp3 format for up to five poems, stories or songs. (please contact us if you need help in this regard at elizabeth@telepoembooth.com)
  • WORD DOCUMENTS for up to five poems, stories or songs you wish to submit.
  • a brief BIOGRAPHY in the cover letter, including where you are from in Iowa.

Please contact us with any questions, recording or otherwise. For help recording your submissions, contact Elizabeth Hellstern at elizabeth@telepoembooth.com.

Telepoem Booth® Iowa is funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will be placed early spring at PACE - Pottawattamie Arts Culture Entertainment, 1228 S. Main St., Council Bluffs, IA.

More information about the project is available at www.facebook.com/TelepoemBooth or www.telepoembooth.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! @telepoembooth.


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 (for example, through the application "iTalk" on iPhones), 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 noise for editing purposes.

8. Convert your poem to mp3 if needed. (A handy online converter is available here: https://online-audio-converter.com)

Juror Biographies:

Debra Marquart is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University, Iowa’s Poet Laureate, and the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment. She teaches in ISU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. A memoirist, poet, and performing musician, Marquart is the author of six books including The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere and a collection of poems, Small Buried Things: Poems. Marquart’s short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories draws on her experiences as a former road musician. A singer/songwriter, she continues to perform solo and with her jazz-poetry performance project, The Bone People, with whom she has recorded two CDs.  Marquart’s work has been featured on NPR and the BBC and has received over 50 grants and awards including an NEA Fellowship, a PEN USA Award, a New York Times Editors’ Choice commendation, and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award. debramarquart.com

Rustin Larson’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, and North American Review. He won 1st Editor’s Prize from Rhino and was a prize winner in The National Poet Hunt and The Chester H. Jones Foundation contests. His books of poetry include: Library Rain (Conestoga Zen Press, 2019); Howling Enigma (Conestoga Zen Press, 2018); Pavement ( Blue Light Press, 2017); The Philosopher Savant (Glass Lyre Press, 2015); Bum CantosWinter Jazz, and The Collected Discography of Morning (Blue Light Press, 2013); The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009); and Crazy Star (Loess Hills Books, 2005). He has been a seven-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize, has been a featured writer for the DMACC Celebration of the Literary Arts, and has been a finalist for the New England Review Narrative Poetry Competition 1985. rustinlarson.wordpress.com

Elizabeth Hellstern is a writer and an artist working to make word interactive. 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 and Telepoem Booth®: Missed Calls and Other Poetry both 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 Knight Foundation, New Mexico Humanities Council, Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, Iowa Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.