JAX POETRY FEST | APRIL 1-30, 2022

FOUNDED BY HOPE AT HAND

The 7th Annual Jax Poetry Fest will kick off on Thursday, April 1, 2022 with in-person and virtual events, performances, and exhibits. Check out our full schedule below filled with workshops, poetry performances and more! A big thank you to our partners and sponsors who make this community event possible. 

2022 EVENT SCHEDULE

All workshops are provided free to the public unless stated otherwise below

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FRIDAY, APRIL 1: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

The Art of Calm: Mastering Your Peace featuring
Taryn "LoveReigns" Wharwood

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

LoveReigns appreciates this generation's zeal and zest for seeking and unraveling the truths we have all been fed. In this climate, that can be frustrating and often cause one to lose focus of individual peace. This session will focus on mastering the art of calm in this messed up world. We were all born into it, so how do we address the truths we now know? How do we “write” the wrongs and what do we do next? This generation is the change we need to see.

Taryn "LoveReigns" Wharwood is a poet, writer, author, emcee, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and curator of Dopeness. LoveReigns captivates audiences by finding power in her truth. Her words, her aura, her spirit all scream love...but not without equal amounts of pain. If you know Love, you know yourself. She creatively uses words to reflect you back to you. The beauty, the pain, the good, the bad, the ugly, the peace, the joy, the love... even if you don't believe it yet!

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SATURDAY, APRIL 2: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax 

In this fast-paced, interactive workshop poets will explore writing in response to art and artifacts, from works of art in museums to the Starbucks mermaid, talking back to the images around us can be silly or deep but always inspiring!

Anna K. Jacobson is a teacher, poet, and storyteller. She's a proud member of the local chapter of the national non-profit Women Writing for a Change where Anna helps high school interns develop 'zines and other projects. Anna has performed her poetry and storytelling in a variety of Jacksonville venues including the Florida Theater and the Cummer Museum. She also works with Florida Louder Than a Bomb, the largest youth spoken word festival in the world.

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MONDAY, APRIL 4: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Found Poetry: Inspiration is Everywhere featuring Jennifer Wolfe

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Poetry is around us everywhere if only we are truly seeking it. How to take advantage of every day and important moments and document them with poetry in a variety of forms. Anyone can be a poet; practice simply helps you find your best work. Join us for an inclusive, welcoming, exploratory workshop. All are welcome.

Jennifer Wolfe is a writing facilitator, accidental poet, and dedicated writer who has spent most of her life facilitating change through the power of the written word. A journalist by trade and a writing facilitator by profession, she’s currently the executive director of Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville, which she founded in 2014, as part of a national women-led writing community.

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WEDNESDAY APRIL 6: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Diaspora Poetry: Homesick Expressions featuring Mehmet Güneş

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Diaspora Poetry teaches us about the emotional impact of being displaced from one’s homeland. In this session we will dive into the definition of Diaspora Poetry and discuss what it means to be homesick and apply our uncovered emotions to written word.

Mehmet Güneş, Poet – Educator – Man of Letters – Director Mehmet Güneş was recognized by the British Council in December 2011 and awarded a travel grant for artists under the British Council’s Arts Development Grants. He was nominated and awarded a scholarship for Jordan and Morocco under the Cultural Exchange agreement. He has had his poetry published in The World’s Poetry Archive June 2011, Poetry Rivals Collection 2011- Words Everlasting in the United Kingdom; a poem read by one million people in North America.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6: OPEN MIC NIGHT AT ARTWALK

Open Night at Art Walk Emcee'd by
Taryn "LoveReigns" Wharwood and featuring
 Suni Storm & other local poets

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us at our vendor booth for April's Artwalk! We'll have our staff on site sharing about Hope at Hand's mission and have an Open Mic Night emcee'd by Taryn "LoveReigns" Wharwood and featuring Suni Storm! Come show off your skill or share your latest poetry, while learning about our nonprofit. Then explore the three major hubs: James Weldon Johnson Park, The Jessie (duPont Center) and Vagabond Flea at The Breezeway at Vystar Tower, and all the businesses and public art between. 

Suni Storm is a poetess, author, event host and entrepreneur located in Jacksonville, Florida, by way of Washington, DC. Along with artistic endeavors, Suni considers herself a qualified playlist curator, a cultural enthusiast, and a safe space. You can connect with Suni at a variety of city-wide events, but she is best found minding her business.

Other local artist include Simonne, Leah Monet, Drenna Symone, Tatsuwa, Armani, Introvered Tee, Intricate the Almighty, Daniel Welch, and Jacqui Yulee

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THURSDAY APRIL 7: POETRY IN THE PARK

Featuring Aaron Woodson

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us every Thursday in April for live poetry readings in the park from local poets, authors, artists, and more, emcee'd by the one and only LoveReigns!

Aaron Woodson is a christian, published author, screenplay writer, actor, entrepreneur, student, poet, son, brother, friend, and survivor that continually thrives in any environment he's in. He is very determined individual and who has had a lot of success in his life. He cares for other people, especially his friends and family.

Aaron writes because he wants to speak to individuals that wear certain kinds of facial expressions in need of having an outlet to share what is on their hearts. He wants to speak his truth and let his audience connect and identify with what we deal with in life. His writing comes from a real and deep place. We need people we can relate to and we can learn about different individual stories that show the evolution of that person. 

FREE
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FRIDAY, APRIL 8: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Poetry in Abstract: Creative Writing featuring
Todd Rykaczewski of Word Revolt

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Follow internationally published poet & author Todd Rykaczewski, as previously seen on Netflix Canada, in an immersive workshop that pushes you into a realm that coerces your voice to be heard. After all, apparitions need to be lifted all over the world for there to be a community of storytellers. In this session, participants will learn how to be an abstract fictional poet to deliver a narrative from their original writing passage.

Word Revolt is an award-winning art gallery that is deeply rooted in literature, philanthropy & art. Through continual exhibitions and book publishing, Word Revolt can provide a free platform for all creative outlets.

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SATURDAY APRIL 9: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCAJAX

Whatever Stops the Poem is the Poem featuring Matthew "Cuban" Hernandez

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Learn to write a poem like a puzzle, find what's holding back your words and write to them like an old friend.

Matthew ‘Cuban’ Hernandez is a poet, emcee, speaker, and performance coach from Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured as far as Abu Dhabi and nearly every major city in the United States and Europe, performing, teaching and coaching poetry. A teaching artist for nearly ten years, Matthew has spent the last six years working in youth detention centers across Los Angeles County, currently serving as the Director of Camp Programming for Street Poets, Inc. In addition, he is a current Lead Teacher and Co-Founder of Spoken Literature Art Movement. Cuban has opened for artists such as Wu-Tang, performed for platforms such as BuzzFeed and NPR and even appeared on the award-winning television show, Better Things. Matthew is also a three time Southern Fried poetry slam champion and an award-winning poetry coach. Cuban’s favorite activity is making people feel great; sometimes he does this through hip hop and poetry.

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MONDAY, APRIL 11: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

The Family Speaks: Sentimental Poetry featuring Jasmine Harris

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

The workshop will focus on capturing sentimental family traditions through emoting significance. Ms. Harris will facilitate the group to capture one’s most esteemed family moments, routines, or experiences with a focus on literary devices utilizing imagery. Participants will have the opportunity to develop one’s skills to create dialogue around an original poem.

Jasmine Harris is an Educational Specialist and published poet featured in the International Poetry Digest,

Ink & Voices, Rigorous, etc. Author of, I May Have Been in My Feelings, focuses her writing on identity, relationships, and the climate of society. Harris frequently quotes her inspirations as Maya Angelou,

Ntozake Shange, and Tupac Shakur.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

One Word: Metaphor + Storytelling featuring Brooks Decker

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Do words matter? Does one single word matter? Can you pull everything that's important to you into one concept? One word? Attendees will focus on one word and bringing that word to life through the use of metaphor and storytelling.

Brooks Decker is the program director and a poetry facilitator at Hope at Hand, Inc. She often works with youth in rehabilitation centers, jails, and residential foster care. She's an artist, a writer and a student working towards her MA in Licensed Clinical Counseling. You may catch her at the Downtown Jax's Art Walk, every first Wednesday of the month, slinging her paintings, or thrifting from around town.

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THURSDAY APRIL 14: POETRY IN THE PARK

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us every Thursday in April for live poetry readings in the park from local poets, authors, artists, and more, emcee'd by the one and only LoveReigns!

Jus Amanda is a mom, entrepreneur, sister, and friend. She has been writing poetry since the age of 8. Her latest spoken word album is entitled Been Through to Breakthrough. She is a gentle soul and a positive light in our community. You can connect with her on IG: @ohthatsjusamanda and Facebook: Jus Amanda Moore. Be sure to support her poetic work via I-Tunes, Google Play, YouTube, etc. She is also a wood maker. You can visit her Etsy shop here

The Jax Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC, Empowerment Resources, and the Performers Academy with support from the Jacksonville Public Library, Penmanship Books, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, and Cave Canem. The Jax Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic & community engagement, poetry & performance, human relations, diversity, and education across Jacksonville.

Tiffany Melanson is a poet and arts educator with an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of the audio chapbook What Happens (EAT Poems), and her work is has recently appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Bridge Eight, Coda Quarterly and Compose Journal. She has been named a Bennington Writing Seminars Teaching Fellow and a Peter Taylor Fellow at the Kenyon Writers Workshop.

In addition to her own poetic pursuits, Melanson teaches poetry workshops and oral interpretation at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where she is also the faculty sponsor of Élan, an international student literary magazine, and co-director of the Douglas Anderson Writers’ Festival.

FREE
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MONDAY, APRIL 18: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

The Triolet: RomanticRhymes featuring
Lynn Skapyak Harlin 

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Want to write a short witty poem just perfect to go with a box of candy or flowers? The Triolet, one of the oldest and simplest of French forms, deserves a try from the contemporary poet. Going back at least to the thirteenth century, Triolets are short, 8 lines, with a simple rhyme scheme. Its name comes from the repetition of the key line three times (French "tri"). Come join Lynn in writing this simple yet elegant form.

 

Poet, writer and editor, Lynn Skapyak Harlin’s first published poem “War Waste” appeared in Time magazine, in 1970. Her poems appeared in Women’s Voices, State Street Review, Arbus, Section Eight, Florida Speaks,

The Gate, Aquarian, AC PAPA volumes 1&2. Her chapbooks, Real Women Drive Trucks and Press One for More Options published in 1997 and Age Changes in 2017, her collection of 90 poems, Twist and Turns in 2019.

Connie Worthy

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

If I Were Brave: Releasing Fear + Accessing Desire featuring Connie Worthy

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Connie will lead participants through a guided visualization and poetry writing experience aimed towards releasing your fears and exploring your innermost desires. What will you do when you are brave?

Connie Worthy, LMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and co-founder of Subtle-Arts.com. Her reverence for the written word was developed as an English Major at Rollins College, and her love for its therapeutic use was solidified when she facilitated her first Hope at Hand group as a graduate intern nearly ten years ago. Connie is passionate about helping each person uncover their gifts, recognize their innate value, and find - and use - their voice.

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THURSDAY APRIL 21: POETRY IN THE PARK

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us every Thursday in April for live poetry readings in the park from local poets, authors, artists, and more, emcee'd by the one and only LoveReigns!

FREE
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FRIDAY, APRIL 22: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Improving Your Performance: Wait a While featuring Suni Storm

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Have you ever thought about walking on stage to perform your original poetry? This workshop provides an introduction to finding the performer in you. We will examine using music, memorization, imagery, and repetition. Improve your confidence and performance skills in one hour!

Suni Storm is a poetess, author, event host and entrepreneur located in Jacksonville, Florida, by way of Washington, DC. Along with artistic endeavors, Suni considers herself a qualified playlist curator, a cultural enthusiast, and a safe space. You can connect with Suni at a variety of city-wide events, but she is best found minding her business.

Word Revolt Earth Day

FRIDAY, APRIL 22: EARTH DAY ART SHOW WITH WORD REVOLT

The Second Annual Earth Day Art Show: Transformation

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm  |  Word Revolt Art Gallery

The City of Atlantic Beach Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) has partnered with the Word Revolt Art Gallery of Atlantic Beach to host our Second Annual Earth Day Art Show, Juried Art Competition & Poetry Reading. The theme of this event is Transformation.

 

The Earth Day 2022 exhibition theme focuses on transformation and renewal. Much like the metamorphosis of the butterfly, through our effort as custodians of the environment, we have the power to change the world for a bright and beautiful future. In all stages of life, in all acts of kindness to the Earth, we honor and celebrate nature in all its glory this Earth Day though visual art & poetry.

 

The competition is open to accomplished and aspiring local artists of all ages & poets. Honorary prizes will be awarded, the art will be on display at the gallery for the duration of the exhibit and viewable online.

 

Special Guest speakers:

  • Atlantic Beach Mayor, Ellen Glasser

  • Commissioner Brittany Norris

  • Cultural Council Diana Donovan

  • Hope at Hand

  • Park Poets of America

  • Word Revolt, Theresa Rykaczewski

 

Submit art & poetry here

Entries Due: Monday April 4th at midnight

Haiku Circle

SATURDAY, APRIL 23: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Haiku Featuring Coquina Haiku Society

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

A workshop in haiku composition will provide a brief history of its Japanese origins,

with discussion regarding the form, content, and literary devices at work in haiku, and the opportunity for attendees to compose and share their own haiku. Numerous examples of classic and contemporary haiku will be presented along the way and bibliographic references, glossaries, and other handouts will supplement the program.

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MONDAY, APRIL 25: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Mandela Magic: Repeating Patterns featuring Summer Van Mun

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Have you ever doodled the same pattern over and over? Do you repeat certain words or phrases that bring you joy? It's been said that drawing a Mandala can help you find patience, balance and peace of mind. Merging words and art is a beautiful concept that we will practice in this workshop.

Summer Van Mun is an artist, writer and healer. Using creative expression as a safe place to learn how to play and express feelings, ideas, and sentiments allowing us to move with more grace.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP WITH MOCA JAX

Storytelling in a Poem featuring Yvette Angelique

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

The Bop poem is a fun 20-line poetic structure (3 stanzas) where we abandon rhyme schemes, syllables, or meters. Just tell a conflict story and end on a resolution—or not. In between stanzas there is a one-line refrain (perhaps from a song or a quote). You will SING it! We’ll have so much fun with this playful structure invented by Afaa Michael Weaver during a Cave Canem retreat. Yvette is part of the Cave Canem family and has played with the Bop poem, even expanded the form, as a storytelling and singing form, anchored in African American traditions.

Yvette Angelique, MA-TLA is a poet, facilitator, and storyologist. She runs Narratives for change where she uses storytelling as a platform for healing, literary art making, consciousness-raising, and advocacy. Yvette produces written and digital poetry chapbooks, teaches creative writing workshops, leads community-based storytelling events, and collaborates with other artists on public art projects.

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THURSDAY APRIL 28: POETRY IN THE PARK

Featuring Daniel Welch

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us every Thursday in April for live poetry readings in the park from local poets, authors, artists, and more, emcee'd by the one and only LoveReigns!

Daniel Welch writes poems and stories in Jacksonville, Florida. His words are flavored by a youth spent straddling the country between California and New Hampshire and spiced by joining and leaving a high control religion. He is now nourished by the pleasures of nature, music, and family.

FREE
Poem in Pocket Day

THURSDAY APRIL 28: NATIONAL POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  |  James Weldon Johnson Park

Join us every Thursday in April for live poetry readings in the park from local poets, authors, artists, and more, emcee'd by the one and only LoveReigns!

During our last Poetry in the Park event for Jax Poetry Fest, our staff will be handing out free poem cards! Poem in Your Pocket Day serves as a beautiful opportunity to allow the healing power of poetry to spill over into our everyday lives. It allows us to share our favorite poems with people who may otherwise not receive much exposure to poetry. It also reminds us to have a deeper appreciation for the impact that poetry has had on our lives!

FREE
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FRIDAY, APRIL 29: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

It's often said that it's easier to edit existing material than to create something new from scratch. Blackout poetry is a clever way to re-purpose a discarded book page. It's an innovative approach to poetry and creative expression for beginners or experts. You will need a pen or pencil and access to a printer for this session.

We will send book pages to print prior to the session start.

Jamie Rosseland loves all forms of creative expression. She is passionate about connecting with marginalized youth in Jacksonville. Through Hope at Hand, she has found a way to combine both interest in her work as a poetry facilitator and social media specialist.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 30: VIRTUAL POETRY WORKSHOP

Turn Stories into Poems featuring Odd?Rod

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm |  Zoom Link via MOCA Jax

Life is beautiful. Life is mess. Life is poetic. In this workshop, you will learn how to turn your life stories into poetry from a nationally acclaimed poet. Attendees will create original poems from life experiences and be given an opportunity to present their poem and receive feedback.

Roderick "Storyteller Odd?Rod" is a storytelling spoken word artist who has used his writing to overcome the adversities he faced as a child. His writing and performances earned him a host of awards including a fully funded opportunity to earn his master's degree from the University of Alabama. His hope is to save lives and change the world with his story of perseverance. 

PRESENTED BY

IN COLLABORATION WITH

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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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