Talking Chair Comes to Robbins Library for National Poetry Month

A preliminary sketch of the magic Talking Chair

On Thursday April 5, 2018 Robbins Library will open the “Talking Chair” installation with a ribbon cutting at 3:00 p.m. in the Fiction Room.


The “Talking Chair” is an interactive digital experience, developed by Emily Calvin-Bottis, a digital and interactive experience designer and Arlington resident, with support from the Arlington Cultural Council. The interactive chair features poems by Arlingtonians of all ages, read by the poets and Cathie Desjardins, Arlington’s Poet Laureate. The “Talking Chair” is part of our celebration of National Poetry Month. The installation will be available during the month of April.

Visitors to Robbins Library will visit the welcoming armchair in the Fiction Room. When the users sits in the chair, they will hear a short poem. They will rise and sit again to hear a new poem. Emily Calvin-Bottis hopes the technology project can help “make poetry cool” for people who may not see themselves as poetry enthusiasts, foster appreciation for the work of local residents, and even potentially draw people to the library just to experience a novel interactive technology experience.

Arlington’s Poet Laureate, Cathie Desjardins, selected the poems to be featured and was excited about participating in the project as a means of sharing her love of poetry and achieving one of her goals as Poet Laureate: promoting the idea that poetry is for everyone.  The poets include first-time poets to published authors, from students to seniors.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

For more information, please contact Maura Deedy at 781-316-3202 or

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