Verses – Poets in Maitland Cafes
Poets and Cafes invited to team up to create verses
Can poetry make the world a better place? Maitland City Council is launching an initiative that calls for both established and budding poets to team up with enthused café owners. The program, Verses, will see the creation of metaphors and similes blossom along with Maitland’s growing café culture.
The Verses ‘writers in residence’ pilot program, part of Maitland City Council’s Cultural Plan, connects voluntary poets with local cafes for a 3 – 6 month part time placement. Poets will be given space to write and create poetry based on the hustle and bustle of café life, the local area and their own experiences. The idea is for poets to enrich the cultural life of the cafe through conversations, connections and performances.
The purpose of holding the program in cafes is to immerse poets in a wealth of everyday material that focuses on the excitement surrounding café life. Maitland creative writer, Helen Hopcroft commented in anticipation of the program, ‘‘The arts are about humanity. What better place to observe humanity than a café?”
Amorelle Dempster of the Readers Café and Larder agrees, “People come to cafés to enjoy the delicious aromas of coffee and food and to share time, ideas, laughter and tears. Cafes are actually a great source of material for poets.”
Hunter poets and Maitland cafes are invited to participate by submitting an expression of interest online at www.maitland.nsw.gov.au/Library/events/verses by Friday 21 April 2017. Selected participants will be contacted in late April and introduced to their residency host/ poet. The program will commence on Monday 1 May.
Verses is an unpaid voluntary program. Residencies are typically for 2 -3 times a week in consultation with the participating café, who provide complimentary tea/coffee/food for the poet.