Keetje Kuipers, English professor, reads from a poem at a picnic.
Auburn University is initiating the public arts project Aubie’s Poem-of-the-Day (APOD) on campus.
The program will place Quick Response (QR) codes accross campus, which will allow students who scan these codes to access to poetry provided by APOD.
QR codes are located in areas of campus that tend to have more student traffic, such as Tiger Transits, around elevators and Ralph Brown Draughon Library. These areas are where students will be waiting in lines for meals. APOD is a collaboration of writers, publishers and a college campus utilizing social media and technology. The contemporary poetry found on APOD will be accessible to students by downloading a free QR code-reading app on iTunes or Google Play.
“Aubie’s Poem-of-the-Day is the latest example of the ways in which reading and writing can extend into the community,” said Chantel Acevedo, associate professor of English and alumni writer-in-residence.
According to Acevedo, the project is intended to spread a love of reading.
“The joy of reading and writing poems can be a lifelong thing and not just a thing one does for class,” Acevedo said.
The purpose of this new public art project is to inspire public conversation about the topic, so poems members of the Auburn community can relate to will be used.
APOD said they hope discussion of topics, such as history, identity, nature and culture will demonstrate the commitment of the University to engage with a complex global community.
“I really hope this project appeals to a broad audience, not just English majors or liberal arts students, but students, faculty and staff in all disciplines,” said Jaena Alabi, librarian at RBD Library.
Alabi said she hopes Auburn students will identify with at least one of APOD’s chosen poems.
“The poems we’ve selected for the project’s inaugural year cover a broad range of topics, which I hope allows everyone in the Auburn Family to find at least one poem they can connect to,” Alabi said.
In addition to the daily poetry, APOD will bring one of the program’s featured poets to Auburn as a guest lecturer for a reading and to speak with students in recognition of National Poetry Month in April.
APOD originated from the success Auburn had with the Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day the English department sponsored in the spring of 2013.
On that day, people from across the country are encouraged to carry their favorite poems in their pocket and pass them along to friends and strangers in the hopes of sharing poetry through their community.
After both faculty and students enthusiastically participated in this day around Auburn’s campus, English professor Keetje Kuipers said she began to think of a way to share poetry with the University every day of the year.
In collaboration with Alabi, Aubie’s Poem-of-the-Day began.
With the partnership of small media, APOD is given the ability to easily secure the permission focusing hundreds of contemporary poems that will appeal to Auburn’s campus and community.
One of the partners, Copper Canyon Press, helped to select the first poems.
The English department, Ralph Brown Draughon Library and the College of Liberal Arts are giving credit to a seed grant from Auburn University’s Office of the Vice President for research.
“I hope the project shows students that poetry can be relevant to their lives, as well as accessible.” Alabi said.
Alabi said she is grateful to Copper Canyon Press.
“I hope the poems we’ve chosen will showcase hundreds of contemporary poems thanks to our partners at Copper Canyon Press,” Alabi said,
Aubie’s Poem-of the-Day is the first project of its kind to be used on a university campus. According to the organizers of the project, they are hopeful daily poetry, such as this, will spread onto other college campuses.
“I think the whole thing is a really cool idea,” said Will Matthews, senior in political science and creative writing. “Integrating an app like this onto a college campus will get poetry out there faster and make it easier for students to get exposed.”