All across New Jersey, poetry readings are happening everywhere from coffee shops, bars, record stores, CBD lounges, and parks. Damian Rucci, Chris Rockwell, Cord Moreski, Ras Heru, Don Krypton & others are hosting numerous packed poetry events. Centered in Monmouth County, these poetry shows are occuring from Newark all the way down to Tuckerton. These aren’t the poetry readings of yesterday, they are entertaining, brash, and profoundly young and working class.
“We just wanted to do it differently. Take it from the classrooms and bookstores to the people who don’t know that they need it. Poetry is for the beggar and the king. We wanted to bring poetry to the heart of the working people,” Damian Rucci said.
Every night of the week you can find at least one poetry event happening, usually two to three. All are welcome and the poetry events are free usually with an open mic portion of the night where anyone can sign up to share their work. It's a working class poetry movement emerging throughout the Garden State.
Executive producer of NJ PBS’s Here's the Story and Driving Jersey Steve Rogers has been following the NJ Poetry Renaissance for the upcoming program Voices in the Garden which is due to air this fall.