The PhoneMe Project


The PhoneMe Project was created to bring spoken world poetry t the streets of Downtown Eastside and to provide a space for the DTES residents to paint a picture of their neighbourhood in their own words. By dealing a simple number on their mobile phones project members can access a server to record their poems anytime and anywhere they feel inspired. University partners will upload these poems to an interactive map that will be accessible by anyone interested. Project members will also attend many workshops led by spoken-word poets and will be able to practice and share their poems and will be able to practice and share their poems during different events in the DTES and on UBC campus.


What this is

This Project creates a public platform and amplifies the voices of community members through poetry. The poems created as a part of this project will be recorded live on mobile phones and uploaded to a secure server. Using an automated process of posting phone calls, we hope to make it possible for people perform and record their poems as if in conversation. Your poem will be performed in public but because you will be speaking on the phone, nobody will know that it is a public performance. The end goal will be to have a large collection of spoken word poems accessible online to inspire and empower others to join in the dialogue.


What will happen

Join us for a series of three writing and performance workshops. After the workshops you will be given a phone card and asked to dial a phone number to record your poems on location.

You can record your poem from anywhere – on a street, at your home, on a bus strop – as long as you have access to a phone and your phone card. We hope that by listening to your poems general public will open their eyes and hearts to the life in the DTES.


How to join

Please email Natalia Balyasnikova at or sign up at the UBC learning Exchange Drop-In desk.


PhoneMe Project Website

Please visit to see more information and the interactive map.