Coming Saturday: Archy’s Typewriter in Boston

Shift Key on the Blunderwood PortableNote: Location update!

If you will be anywhere close to Boston this weekend, be sure to see the Blunderwood Portable typewriter in the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It’s a massive art installation on display Saturday and Sunday, part of Boston’s Figment Festival. Look for it where High Street intersects with the Greenway, northeast of South Station.

The Blunderwood, a 24:1 scale 1927 typewriter measuring 20 feet square and 8 feet tall, is an homage to Don Marquis’ Archy the cockroach.

Much like Archy, who dove head-first on the keys of Don’s typewriter to tell his stories, visitors to the Blunderwood will be able to walk on huge typewriter keys and see their own messages projected on an overhead screen made to look like an oversize sheet of typing paper. Several of Archy’s poems will also be projected.  Continue Reading →

Celebrate Don’s 137th Birthday in New York

Vintage birthday cakeIf you will be in New York City on Wednesday, July 29, please join us for dinner and drinks to celebrate Don Marquis’ 137th birthday. 

A few fans will be gathering that evening to talk, relax and tell stories about Don and his crowd. If someone feels the urge to channel Archy and recite some poetry (nothing too serious, of course), that’s fine, too! 

A location hasn’t been determined yet, but perhaps a tavern with a dining room near City Hall (and the former homes of The Sun and the Tribune), or maybe Keen’s Steakhouse, further uptown, where Don’s co-workers toasted him in 1922, when he left The Sun to join the Tribune staff.

If you’re interested in attending, send a note to And if you’re in Boston a few days beforehand, some folks plan to be there July 25-26 to see the Blunderwood typewriter (see below) on display in the Rose Kennedy Greenway. An early birthday toast might be in order.

A New Typewriter for Archy — 8 Feet Tall!

Progress on the Blunderwood typewriter

Progress update!

UPDATE: The Blunderwood folks have reached their Kickstarter goal of $5,000, but they now have a “stretch” goal of another $3,000 to add gold-leaf lettering to the typewriter and purchase a more powerful projector. The deadline is June 27. And make plans to see the Blunderwood in Boston, July 25-26!

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Archy and Mehitabel are the inspiration for a whimsical (and huge!) public art project coming this summer to a park in downtown Boston – and then to the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

A group of artists, welders and carpenters who call themselves the Cat and the Cockroach Collective are building a 24-to-1-scale model of a 1927 Underwood Standard portable typewriter, The reimagined Blunderwood Portable will be 20 feet square and 8 feet tall, with interactive keys able to spell out personal messages projected on an oversize sheet of paper when walked upon.  Continue Reading →