Curation Title: Star Gazing

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

From 'When I Heard the Learned Astronomer' by Walt Whitman.

Images: Simon Hutchinson courtesy of Belfast International Arts Festival

This edition of poems for Poetry Jukebox will be curated by poets Iggy McGovern & Maria McManus. They welcome poems (one per poet) that connect with any aspect of star gazing, from constellations to comets, from stardust to space shuttles, from Dark Matter to Darth Vader, from Black Holes to Mission Control …

This project is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through National Lottery and Exchequer funds.

How to make a submission

  • Submission by midnight Sunday 7th February 2021

    • Please include YOUR NAME / STARS Curation in the subject line.
    • Email to
    • Poems must be submitted in audio format.
    • Where possible please submit good quality sounds files in MP3, MP4 format. (Smart phone voice files are ideal recording devices.) WAV files are also acceptable, but should be sent using WeTransfer.  See the guidance notes (below) about how to make a good enough recording.
    • Where a poem is in a language other than English, please record your poem in your poem in your preferred language first, preferably back to back in one sound file, with its translation in English. Here is an example:
  • Some guidance for making a good enough recording:

     Ideally each poem should be no longer than 2 minutes max when read aloud. There is no technological reason the poem can’t be longer, so please use this as a guide only –the integrity of your poem is vital.

    • Find a quiet space to do your recording. Listen for, and become aware of any background noise, such as traffic, clicks, pets, children etc, and do something to minimise the background noises –such as closing doors, closing the curtains, go to a different room etc
    • Don’t record in the kitchen – the recording device will pick up vibrational noise from the fridge, low energy bulbs and fluorescent tubes.
    • Switch off all low energy light bulbs in the vicinity (they generate vibrational noise)
    • Use a Smart phone such as an iPhone, Experia or similar
    • Go to the Voice Memo app
    • It is helpful to place your phone on top of a pile of books, 8-12 inches from your mouth. Putting it on top of a pile of books will help to keep the phone steady.
    • Read in a natural voice but pay attention to your diction.
    • On recording, (wait 2 beats) Read the TITLE (wait 1 beat) YOUR NAME (wait 2 beats),
    • read the POEM
    • Repeat the TITLE (wait 1 beat) YOUR NAME (wait 2 beats)
    • Send your poem, a brief biographical note, the poem text ( word doc) and a photograph of you to

Publication Rights

 Poems peviously published elsewhere ARE accepted, provided the author can assign non-exclusive rights for the purposes using the audio files, to Poetry Jukebox to Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd .

Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd will not be held liable if a poem assigning the rights of use by the poet, later emerges to have infringed on other publishers’ rights. Payment: We are delighted that we can pay poets a small stipend of £35 for their poem.


About Poetry Jukebox & Quotidian –Word on the Street Limited

About Quotidian

 Poetry Jukebox is a Quotidian –Word on the Street Ltd Project. Quotidian is a not-for-profit literary arts production company limited by guarantee, the remit of which is to enhance civic spaces by animating them in innovative ways, with literature.

  • The Poetry Jukebox is an on-street sound installation that provides an innovative new

platform for poetry.  It is located in the grounds of The Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. The project is led by artistic director and poet Maria McManus.

  • Quotidian -Word on the Street Ltd reserves the right to make decisions which support the project and the spirit of the project.