JERSEY SHORE – Throughout New Jersey, writers and poets are working together with local establishments in hopes to create a platform to share their work with the community.
The Coffee and Words series, one of many events like it, feature a wide range of local creatives interested in showcasing their work with the public. The promotion of the series is primarily through social media such as Instagram, where crafters and listeners of the spoken word can find where and when these events take place in their area. The design of the series works as an outlet for artists ⎼ a creation of space to share and connect with others who have similar interests in creative writing.
Cord Moreski, a local writer and host of Coffee and Words, began working with the Asbury Park Roastery more than a year ago after creating a home for poets and poetry readings. Located on the Asbury Park boardwalk, the audience had a chance to enjoy coffee while indulging in the poetic and literary atmosphere that New Jersey offers. With the development of the event in a post-COVID world, artists are celebrating the support of their community and finding local connections with others interested in their work ⎼ all within the span of an event.
At the beginning of one recent Coffee and Words event, audience members and poets were given time to socialize and grab a cup before the readings started. It was an opportunity for everyone to get to know others before the event officially began. With the room’s air full of the smell of coffee and the excitement of new faces, everything was ready to begin.
The evening featured writers such as Mwikali Words, Justin Johnson, Nick Yuk, YourbuddyTara, and others working toward the long-awaited revival of the up-and-coming New Jersey poetry renaissance ⎼ a literary movement aiming to grow the voices of contemporary and modern minds.
“I’m glad to be a part of the revival of the poetry renaissance,” said local poet Tara to the audience during her reading. With the rebirth of New Jersey’s poetry renaissance, local creatives re-establish their community in a newly modern post-COVID world with groundbreaking poetry for their audience to hear.
From the event’s features and open mic, the recent poetry explores various subjects people can relate to within a post-pandemic world. The main themes within the poet’s works focused on ideas such as dependence, self-esteem, overcoming obstacles, and embracing literary and artistic abilities.
“I appreciate the exchange between everyone, it means a lot,” Mwikali said before reading her powerful and original poems aloud to the audience. Tara and Mwikali are two of the stars of the event ⎼ reading before the open mic session when the audience members are allowed to participate.
The open mic enables a change in what regular attendees of the poetry reading hear ⎼ it’s a chance to listen to someone who might have never read before and has brand new work to share, or who instinctively wants to read their work aloud.
“There’s nothing like this in south Jersey,” said one fresh poet during the open mic session. The Coffee and Words series and interests of the poetry renaissance have become a utopia for lovers of creativity and writing, bringing in people from each section of New Jersey and surrounding states as features and audience members.
The event’s closing maintains the social and networking part of the event ⎼ attendees and poets can socialize and connect through conversation and coffee.
“Everyone is so nice and welcoming here, I always have a great time,” said Raquel Melody before her open mic reading. The series, created last March, is bi-weekly and exhibits a range of creative writers and poets from all walks of life. With the development of the event in the post-COVID world, artists are celebrating the support of their community and finding local connections with others.