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  • Writer's pictureChris Rockwell

Spring Things: National Poetry Month and Beyond

This entire Spring has been like grabbing onto a bolt of lightning with your bare hands and trying to catch it. A true testament to the power of creative energy and the importance of local communities, everywhere we looked throughout the season so far we saw a blossoming of New Jersey's best poetry, music, and art. We visited some of our favorite venues and were able to connect with old friends and make new ones in the process. Prodigious events like these have such a positive energy, and it was truly a time to recognize and appreciate the talent that the NJ arts scene has to offer. From open mics to charity events, we witnessed a unique sense of community as people gathered to celebrate their craft and culture. Local businesses rallied behind some amazing causes and showcased the potential of what can be done when people come together in unity. Here are some of our favorite moments so far.

April Recap: New Jersey Took Over National Poetry Month

We survived another April, and another nonstop National Poetry Month here in the great Garden State, and what a month it was! With one inspiring event after another, last month was an enormous success for Soup Can Magazine as we commemorated our second anniversary of publication with contributors from the past, present, and future issues. One venue to the next was filled to the brim with a spark of magic, camaraderie, and celebration of craft, highlighting diverse perspectives, experiences and expressions of art about the issues that are important to this burgeoning community.

2nd Annual Canniversary & Food Drive

On April 15th, we kicked up our heels, beat our drums, and rejoiced in TWO YEARS of Soup Can Magazine with our 2nd Annual Canniversary and Food Drive, with an unforgettable night of poetry, music, and charity, held at the subtly charming and illustrious institution Pino’s Gift Basket Shoppe and Wine Cellar in Highland Park, NJ. Our lineup of poets and performers left everything on stage, holding nothing back, and attendees showed community love by bringing out food donations to benefit Food Not Bombs.

We are ever appreciative to Pino's Wine Cellar for providing their amazing venue. It was a pleasure to see so many of our dear friends and acquaintances, as well as meeting many new ones. For two years, we have been able to put out our publication each season, and it is humbling to be able to celebrate its success. We would like to thank our family for always being there for us and allowing us to achieve our goals. It was a night we will never forget, and we are grateful for all the support we have received.

Third Thursdays in Downtown Hammonton

After the Canniversary, we marked our triumphant return to the Blueberry Capital of the World for Third Thursdays at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery, in partnership with Art Club Hammonton. Another year of exciting new voices and inventive coffees. Extra gratitude goes out to Don Swenson, Soup Can Alumnus and President of Art Club Hammonton, and his team for making this event happen!

First Poetry Jam at St. Laurent

There was some sweet serendipity that brought to life the first ever Poetry Jam at the St. Laurent Social Club. With sounds provided by the humble and always impeccable DJ Flea Market, and spoken word by Alicia Cook, Alise Versella, Chelsea Palermo, Don Krypton, Jai Simone, and Mychal Mills, we had an intimate evening of poetry and vibes that only Asbury Park could provide. Special Shoutout to Matthew at St. Laurent for bringing the culture to the lushest room around.

May Day: 2nd Annual Daydream Music & Arts Festival

The 2nd Annual Daydream Music & Arts Festival returned to The Union Market & Gallery in the Tuckerton Seaport, and with it brought live art, poetry, music, and RAIN. The weather, however, was no match for the spirit running through the core of this festival, and not only did the show go on, but the crowds showed up anyway. We heard sensational songwriting from Emerson Woolf, Shinything, Alexander Simone, Miah Worthy, Billy T. Midnight, Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, and S0ulfood, not to mention brilliant poetry from Jeanne Sutton, Cord Moreski, Blush Ellis, and Krystle J. Bailey. Each performance was as memorable as the next, and all the artists created paintings that perfectly captured the energy of the day.

We are grateful to have been a part of this amazing experience and thank everyone who was involved. We can only hope that this is just a taste of what's to come in New Jersey's arts community, and that as time goes on, we can keep up the momentum and continue to encourage and support each other in these exciting creative pursuits.

July 30th - TS Impulse Jam

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