The Automated Poetry Project

September 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm  •  Posted in Announcements, Articles by

APPRemember gumball machines? Of course you do. For me, their draw was never really about the gumball. It was the process. It was putting the coin into the twisty thing and twisting it, and, (blop!), incidentally, out comes a gumball. At some point in time, this must have been considered high-tech and an indication of a promising/horrifying future.

What if I told you that you could get something way better, something healthier for your teeth, something with more lasting value, out of a similar, re-conditioned machine? Yes, I am referring to poetry.

This is the Automated Poetry Project, by the Literary Press Group of Canada, which uses gumball-machine technology to fund literary arts in Vancouver, one toonie at a time. So, what do you get for your toonie? Maybe you’ll get a poem from some of your favourite EVENT authors, or even EVENT editor Elizabeth Bachinsky. But it’s random. Just like you can’t choose the green gumball, you can’t choose a Calvin Wharton poem. Maybe you’ll get something new. Maybe you’ll find your new favourite poet. For a complete list of participants, click here.

Poetry dispensers are appearing in five Vancouver locations throughout the month of September. Keep an eye open for them at

  • Bean Around the World (175 West Hastings Street)
  • Paper Hound Bookshop (344 West Pender Street)
  • Banyen Books & Sound (3608 West 4th Avenue)
  • book’mark, the Vancouver Public Library store (350 West Georgia Street)
  • Pulpfiction Books, (2754 West Broadway)

The future is here! See you at Word Vancouver on Sunday.