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Vandal Poem of the Day Labs (VPODLabs) is the promotional/experimental arm of the VPOD poetry project. We work with emerging technologies and the poems we’ve been so graciously allowed to publish on the site by Copper Canyon Press to concoct new expressions and avenues for the promotion of contemporary poetry in Idaho.

poemBot Printer

Using a Raspberry Pi connected to a thermal receipt printer, and enclosed in a wooden or plastic box, we’ve recently been working on a few various Vandal Poem of the Day Printers, one of which will be on display at AWP 2016.

Here is Barry looking nice in his wooden case:


Another iteration uses an old POS receipt printer attached to our lobby display computer to provide paper copies of VPOD:

Technical Details

Originally based on a kit from Adafruit, we program our Raspberry Pi using Python to print a VPOD poem on the receipt printer when a button is pressed. Some versions connect to the internet and grab the daily poem from our website, other versions use a formatted csv file to print a random poem.

For additional technical details, see our GitHub repositories for poemBot and kioskSlides.


We’ve also been, in a much less highly technological fashion, developing promotional materials for the project. Below is a tweet featuring some of our swag:

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.