Hello! What a pleasure to feature as a guest blogger for Verve! I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you all about Overhear.

Overhear is about location and creative content. It uses mobile technology to link the two and generate a micro-economy for poets, here’s how it works:

A recording of a local poet is “geo-tagged” (digital pin is attached to a location) in this instance to an independent business in Birmingham, when a user arrives at that location they can “unlock” the recording and play it through the app. Unique, local content in the city’s best independent spaces.

It’s pretty simple but it has the potential to generate great value for independent places in the city through users footfall. It is our mission to harness that value and use it to pay poets and creatives a fair fee for producing new and exciting work.

One big step towards our goal, made possible through Arts Council Funding and partnering with this year’s Verve Poetry Festival, is the commissioning of 13 new poems from Verve Poetry Press Poets to feature as part of the Overhear app.

We are proud to be working with local poets and look forward to seeing the commissions they create, which will be centred around themes specific to the area of each venue.

You can download the app and collect these poems in the lead up to the festival either by having a mooch about and visiting the venues or by booking onto one of our walking tours – available on the Verve Poetry Festival Eventbrite.

The tours will be lead by the amazing Ben Waddington director of the Still Walking festival accompanied by a Verve Poetry Press Poet. Ben steers audiences away from the ‘dates and data’ approach to guided tours, focussing more on how we feel about spaces and places and what we can determine simply by stopping and looking. Prepare yourself for something unique and stimulating.

– Tom Peel, Overhear Founder

Book tickets for the Overhear Walking Tours 

at Verve 2019, here