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  • Chris Rockwell

Soup Can Magazine Celebrates One Year at Historic New Jersey Theater

On April 16th, the art gallery in the history Strand Theater of Lakewood, NJ will be filled with artists, musicians, and poets alike to commemorate the first year of Soup Can Magazine.

The "1st Canniversary" is a free public event aiming to feature the talented creatives who contributed to their inaugural four issues, while also facilitating a community food drive. This event coincides with an anniversary of The Strand as well, as this is officially their 100th year opening their doors to the creative arts. Throughout the afternoon, artists will be painting and creating in the moment for attendees to see, while live music and poetry emanates from the unique gallery stage. The grand lobby will be filled with vendors and makers from across the state selling their wares, so every showgoer can take a piece of this event home. And to top it all off, this event will be joined by the launch of Soup Can's "National Poetry Month" issue, officially available the day of the event!

The first year of Soup Can Magazine saw the work of poets from the entire country, and even the world, but especially from their home of Ocean County, NJ. One such poet was Alise Versella. Her work was featured in Issue #1, and she appeared at three of the Soup Can promotional events in 2021.

"My senior year, the only thing I wanted was to see my name in print," she explains. "Soup Can gave me so much more than that: community, friends like family, and opportunties that high school me didn't even think to dream for herself. Here's to another year of Soup Can and many more for the New Jersey poetry scene!"

The artists on display in the gallery will be Dogmatic, Zee C, Acrylic Gorgon, Eve's Artistry, and Issue #5 Cover Artist Paula Nelson. She remarks, “While I’m honored to have my art on the anniversary cover of Soup Can, I’m excited to collaborate with the creative forces behind this independent publication focusing on social equality."

There is no shortage of talent set to take the stage, either. Among the featured poets will be Ameerah Shabazz-Bilal (pictured below), a poet whose writing and photography were featured in Issue #2, and Sam Rubinstein (also pictured below), another Soup Can alum. Singer-songwriter Madhavi Devi is a rising star in the New Jersey music scene, enthralling listeners with her rich and narrative storyteller style songwriting as well as her delicate, yet powerful voice. Not only will it be her first performance of the year, but she will be the first to take the stage for the event, kicking off what promises to be an incredible afternoon of entertainment. Devi muses, "I think what I'm most looking forward to about the Canniversary showcase is being surrounded by people who are inspired by the same things. It's special to be with people you're similar to, and even more special to draw inspiration from them."

The food drive will benefit the family of one integral poet to the New Jersey poetry scene, as well as Seeds of Service in Brick. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods for donations. For information on what will be collected, follow updates on the event page here.


Soup Can 1st Canniversary

Location: The Strand Theater 400 Clifton Ave. Lakewood, NJ

Date: April 16th, 2022 12pm-5pm

Free entry.

All ages welcome.




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