The Poetry Jukebox is a jukebox with poetry. We believe that listening to the original voices of poets is one of the most beautiful and inspiring experiences a city can offer.


We are the project called Pianos on the Streets, originally from Prague. The author of the Poetry Jukebox installation and other projects and public space interventions is Ondřej Kobza, Prague based cafés owner and cultural activist with passion for poems, literature in general and live events in non-traditional places. Together with his colleague, cultural manager, producer and writer, Michaela Hečková, he is continually looking for international partners for their project The Poetry Jukebox. We are focused on animation of public space in cities and during last four years we installed about 50 public space pianos and about 60 public space chess tables in the streets, park and squares and just tried to show the possibilities of how people can make their own cities more livable.

How does it work?

The Poetry Jukebox generally contains
20 poems, just in mp3 form.

  • The dramaturgy of The Poetry Jukebox, the selected authors and their literary creations, should reflect the contemporary situation in the particular city, the country, or the whole world.
  • Each Poetry Jukebox in the world has it own selection of poetry. And, if you want, you would be the one, who prepares it.
  • The sound installation is based on the principles of sound devices or instruments such as a megaphone, a gramophone, or a speaking-trumpet.
  • The object is made of steel. There are three parts to it, which are assembled once it is installed on the particular location. Inside, there is an electronic system based on the Arduino open source hardware and software.
  • The object has a press button control system, which allows everybody to choose 


The project is supported by the Czech Centres in Europe and CzechTourism in USA.
We already collaborate with The Poetry Society in the UK, Edinburgh, the City of
literature in Scotland and so on.

How does it look?


  • material: steel
  • height: 180 cm
  • width: 0,273 cm
  • weight: 230 kg / 507 pounds (but
    delivery in three parts)

  • pedestal dimensions: 70 x 70 cm
  • pedestal material: reinforced concrete
  • not necessarily grounded


  • one loud-speaker inside
  • microprocessor, on which the
    poems are stored (mp3 format)

  • needs a connection to electricity
    (via an extension cable, or via
    the public lighting)


  • a strip of 20 neopixel RGB led lights
    is used for the signalization of the
    item played

  • files in the mp3 format, which are
    stored on a second SD card, are played
    by a special mp3 module

  • the playback is done via an 18W mono

  • the device is controlled by a single
    tamper proof button

  • The Poetry Jukebox is powered by a 12V
    DC, and it gets 5V from a step-down

  • The Poetry Jukebox exists in two
    versions, the first one is powered by
    the main supply, the second one by the
    street lamp circuit

  • there is even another SD card for
    counting the statistics of listening

Download technical specifications


All locations

Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle, NYC, USA

New Poetry Jukebox installed in Greenwich Village. Inauguration taking place Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018, 5pm. No, it's not a disoriented submarine, nor a particularly excited exhaust pipe peeking from underneath the asphalt of Ruth E. Wittenberg triangle. It's a poetry jukebox, doing exactly as the name suggests: playing poetry on demand. You walk by, you press a button, you hear a poem. It’s strikingly simple and, well, kind of genius. You probably won't find “Hound dog” on its track list - but you might as well go for another dogged crowd pleaser, Ginsberg’s “Howl”! This is not the first installation of the ingenious concept into foreign territory. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, and Germany have all experienced the Jukebox, specifically designed to reflect the literary memory of its surroundings. Even New York City has one already: you might catch a glimpse of it in front of the Bowery Poetry Club, just around the corner from where the infamous CBGB once stood. Its grand opening in 2016 coincided with Allen Ginsberg’s 90th birthday anniversary, so it's no wonder its “tracks” feature a selection of 20 beat generation poems by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and others. And the new acquisition in Greenwich Village? Will it be the uncatchable flow of Frank O'Hara? Perhaps the ominous echo of a certain romantic amateur ornithologist? Come and listen for yourself! The new installation for passers-by of the triangle between 6th Ave and 8th Street will be inaugurated on Tuesday, Oct 23 2018 at 5pm with a live performance in the honorable presence of Hynek Kmoníček, the current Czech Republic Ambassador to the United States.

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Hlučín, Czech republic

We are glad to return to North Moravia. Another place where you can now listen to the poem in the public space is Hlučín. We installed the Poesiomat in cooperation with the local Sport and Culture Organization Hlučín. Among the artists that you can listen to include local poets such as Radek Fridrich, Dan Jedlička, Lenka Daňhelová, Jan Němček, Radek Glabazňa or Irena Štastná.

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Bratislava, Slovak Republic

The first mobile Poetry Jukebox in Slovak Republic we prepare in our collaboration with the Czech Centre in Bratislava.

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Kersko, Czech republic

The very first Poetry Jukebox based on texts from novels of Bohumil Hrabal. Let's go to the charming forest of Kersko and follow the memento of one of the most famous czech writers.

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Belfast, North Ireland

Come and listen to one of the most eclectic contemporary on-street sound installations featuring the finest poetry from Ireland and other places. This innovative project from Belfast based poets Deirdre Cartmill and Maria McManus is part of the Qoutidian – Word on the Street project which seeks to put poetry into public space, to surprise and delight the unsuspecting. We are prepare our unique first Norh Ireland Poetry Jukebox with the Crescent Art Centre in Belfast.

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Greenwich Village, NY1

at Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle

Come and listen for yourself. Inauguration on Oct 23, 2018


from 29. 9. 2017

Installation in Brusel next to European parlament.


27. 7. 2017

Temporary installation with selection of contemporary Moravian poets.