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How might QR codes lead us deeper into poetry?


1. A poster for an author reading could include a code to hear a poem or passage.


2. A postcard promoting a book could include a code for the audio of a poem or passage. (Sets of these postcards are given away at a reading or set out on the bookstore counter for customers to mail to friends who might want to order the book….with a second code linking to the bookstore’s website.)


3. Any book could include, on a back page or flap copy, codes linking the reader to drafts, translations, extended author bio or background, maps, book trailer, images, character family trees, audio readings, an author talk about her writing process, reader responses to the book (“spoken reviews”), writing prompts pased on passages in the book, or other resources. This could be especially enriching for a book club edition.


4. Similarly, a magazine could provide a code for a reader to hear the writer of a poem or passage in the latest issue share a text, thoughts about a text, or a call to join a cause.


5. A teacher could use these codes to send students into myriad inquiry paths to explore the world of the book, including invitations to write in response to poems or passages in the book. The physical book with its codes, paired with a student’s ubiquitous phone, becomes the locus for a world of investigation and experience.


6. A textbook could provide students with voices to go with poems: read Langston Hughes, then hear Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown….


7. A flyer for a cause could include a code linking to a child’s voice speaking testimony.


8. A location in the world—a “poetry walk” or “author tour”—could provide a sequence of codes in a flyer or on location linking to poems or passages written at that place, or for that place…a story, a blessing, a song.


9. A code the size of a postage stamp is stapled to a telephone pole in a lonesome place linking to an old blues song in the public domain.


10. A bookstore can share a sheet of QR codes with the sale of each book--something you just can't get online, and this helps the store.

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