The Development of the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls Using Mobile App Technology by Andrew Porteus

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Brock University conferred on me the degree of Master of Arts in Popular Culture at the virtual convocation ceremony held in mid-October, 2020. Part of the requirements was to complete a major research project (MRP). My MRP was the development of a poetry walking tour of Niagara Falls using mobile app technology. The tour is available for android users (iOS will be coming) – click here for the instructions for using it.

I had previously posted about the Poetry Selection Event that was part of the development of this tour. Here’s a link to that post.

In addition to developing the walking tour itself, an academic paper had to be written about the project. This paper is now in the Brock University Digital Repository and can be accessed using this link. I have included the abstract below.

Please feel free to send feedback if you use the walking tour app or read the paper.

Abstract:

The Niagara Falls Poetry Project (NFPP) has been an ongoing research-creation project for many years. In addition to being a site of poetry of place it is also a site of recovery and discovery of Niagara poetry. This MRP used social construction of technology and of literature theories as a framework to develop the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls (PWT) to extend the NFPP. Twenty-four points of interest were selected following a route along the Niagara River, passing Niagara Falls. Content analyses and close readings of the poetry on the NFPP website were conducted to preselect suitable poems to present to a panel of poets, academics, and end users at a Poetry Selection Event. Using the participatory design techniques of crowdsourcing and a modified Delphi method, the “best” poem for each of the points of interest was selected. The poem, explanatory historical and literary material, images, and multimedia were added to the Interpretours platform website, which was then used to populate the GuideTags mobile app for smartphones and tablets. The end result is a fully functional mobile app GPS guided walking tour of Niagara Falls that alerts users to points of interest that highlight the poetry and history of Niagara Falls. The role of the PWT in the local economy as a tourist attraction, particularly for the heritage and literary tourism sectors are contributions of the project

Niagara Poetry Guild

Are you a poet living in the Niagara area? There is a new group called the Niagara Poetry Guild for poets to get together, critique each other’s poetry, and talk poetry in general. They meet online using Meetup on the second & fourth Mondays of the month. Please feel free to contact them.

Here’s a link to their next meeting   https://www.meetup.com/Niagara-Poetry-Guild/events/272197888/ 

Here’s a link to their Facebook page (you have to ask to be added) https://www.facebook.com/groups/717559958789012/

Poem Selection Event

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Most of the people at the poetry selection event. Thank you very much for participating.

Last Sunday, January 19, 15 people joined me at the Third Space Café in Niagara Falls for a poetry selection event. The purpose of the event was to select the poems that would go into the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls app that I’m developing.

Each of the people involved gave permission to be photographed and videotaped. Thanks to my son Oliver Porteus who  photographed, videotaped, and then edited it.

 

 

Poetry Selection Event

Please join me on Sunday, January 19, from 2-5 pm at Third Space Café on Queen St., Niagara Falls, Ont. for a poetry selection event.

We will collectively select the poems of Niagara Falls that will appear on the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls mobile app that I am developing. First we’ll get together in small groups and pick the best 2 poems presented to your group. Then we’ll get together as a whole group, read them out, and decide which ones are the best. You don’t need any poetry experience, it’s just the ones you like best.

We will provide free food and drinks .

Please email me at aporteus@niagarapoetry.ca so I know how many people are coming. Please feel free to invite your friends.

I hope to see you at the poetry selection event!

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The History of Niagara Falls Through Poetry by Alison Langley

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Niagara Falls Public Library’s Victoria Avenue branch. – Torstar file photo

When Andrew Porteus came across a poem about Niagara Falls in an old book on engineering, he was intrigued.

As manager of adult reference and information services at Niagara Falls Public Library, he knew it was unlikely anyone else would read the poem.

“I realized it wouldn’t be seen again, except by accident, so I put it in a vertical file at the library,” he recalled.

“I started finding more in odd places, and collected them.”

Now, more than 20 years later, the retired librarian has amassed more than 300 poems relating to Niagara Falls.

“… and I have tons more to put up.”

Porteus created a website — niagarapoetry.ca — to share his poetry project with others.

The collection includes “Niagara” by Jose Maria Heredia.

“He’s one of the best known Latin American poets and this poem helped solidify his reputation,” Porteus said.

There’s a plaque dedicated to Heredia at the Table Rock Welcome Centre.

On Friday, January 3 he’ll present “An incomplete and non-comprehensive history of Niagara Falls through poetry” at the Victoria Avenue library starting at 7 p.m.

The free event will look at some of the major events that occurred in Niagara Falls over the years.

The stunters and daredevils, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, the Hermit of Niagara, everyday life in the city, the bridges, trains, honeymoons and deaths will all be covered.

Porteus will be doing a similar presentation in April at the Popular Culture Association of America conference in Philadelphia. He’s also developing a poetry walking tour based on the Poetry Project.

 

Published in the Niagara Falls Review, December 29, 2019 langley

See the article here