Portsmouth Poet Laureate John-Michael Albert

Have you been Ambushed by Poetry??

You are walking downtown on a beautiful summer day.  There, on the corner of a building on Congress Street, something catches your eye. A pattern of signs covers part of the old bricks. As you get closer, you notice that one of the signs has some text.  Now you can read a line of poetry; it's intriguing...  Who is it by? What is it from? What does it mean? Ambushed by Poetry is exactly how you feel!

Use your smartphone to scan the QR code next to the word "Poetry" (or find Ambushed by Poetry on Facebook!) and you are taken to a web site where you read the whole poem, learn a bit about the poet and the business that is housed in the building. Cool! And, now, you think you see another bunch of signs across the street and up a block. When you read the lines of poetry, you remember that your uncle used to quote them to you.  You snap a photo with your phone and post it to the Facebook page with a comment about your memories of that poem. Later, someone else will "like" your comment and share that the poem they found at 100 Market St. was one they had to memorize in junior high school.

Will you give in to the temptation and peek at the map of locations? Or let serendipity help you find more poetry on the streets? You wonder about those 2 blank signs... will they sprout lines of poetry at some point? You'll have to check when you come back downtown.

The Ambushed by Poetry Brick Project is an interactive poetry treasure hunt in downtown Portsmouth. Surprise! You're being introduced to new poets, great poetry, and invited to be part of an online conversation. Find out all about the project at the Launch Party on Friday, April 13 at the Discover Portsmouth Center (poetry, music, food!). Then share your experiences, read poems, & maybe take home a poetry brick of your own at the Discovery Party on September 26 at the Sheraton Harborside. All spring, summer & early fall, seek out poems on the old bricks of this beautiful city. 

QR Codes | Join the Conversation | Poetry Locations | Project Poem Pages

QR Codes

What the heck is a QR code?
The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds of data 
(numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data. In recent years QR codes have become common in consumer 
advertising and packaging because the dissemination of smartphones "has put a barcode reader in everyone's pocket" for the first time. As a result, the QR code has 
become a focus of advertising strategy, since it provides quick and effortless access to the brand's website. (more on Wikipedia)

QR Code Readers for Smartphones & Tablets (recommendations from QR generator site www.keremerkan.net)

iPhone/iPad: The best scanner apps for iPhone and iPad are Qrafter and Qrafter Pro (why two versions?). They are available on the App Store. They are designed for both iPhone and iPad and Qrafter is free (scanning is free and you can unlock Pro generation features via an in app purchase) while Qrafter Pro is $2.99. They are able to understand all actions on this generator (and more) and are the most advanced scanners for QR Codes on iPhone and iPad. You can also visit Qrafter and Qrafter Pro’s Facebook Page here. CNet recommends NeoReader for iPhones and some other devices.

Android: For Android, the best option seems to be the Barcode Scanner app from ZXing.

Blackberry: For BlackBerry, QR Code Scanner Pro is a good choice according to Josh West, one of the commenters on this page.

Nokia Maemo/Meego: For Nokia Maemo/Meego, you can use Mbarcode according to Ryks, another commenter.

Other: For other devices, you may find one, suitable for your device from Kaywa or QuickMark.

You can also check out http://QRmediaGuide.com for a list of other scanners.

Join the Conversation!
Check out the project Facebook page to see what others are saying about being Ambushed by Poetry.  Then add your own comments!

Where were you when you found a poem?
Who were you with?
What did the lines make you think?
Had you ever seen or heard the lines of poetry before?
Do you write poetry?
Will you write a poem based on these lines?
What are your favorite places in Portsmouth?

Where are you from?

Will you be trying to find all the poems?