World Poetry Day, taking place 21 March, is a celebration of creative flows, prose and rhyme. Julius Meinl, the global coffee roaster and ambassador of Viennese coffeehouse culture, is set to launch its annual ‘Pay With A Poem’ initiative in cafes and restaurants across London and beyond
If you’re not afraid to put pen to paper, you could grab your coffee for free on 21 March when all coffee shops across London stocking Julius Meinl roasted coffee beans will accept poems as currency. They are dubbing this event #PayWithAPoem in a push to inspire passion for poetry amid all the global political turmoil going on around us with Brexit and the Trump administration.
One of the cafes participating is Manna Dew in Battersea. Director and Owner, Mohamed AbouGhazala is expecting a large turnout this year and is encouraging even more people to get involved. He says: ‘Our baristas are at the ready so come on down and enjoy unleashing your inner poet!’
According to research, a whopping 80 per cent of Londoners feel disillusioned with the current state of the world
According to research commissioned by Julius Meinl, a whopping 80 per cent of Londoners feel disillusioned with the current state of the world, yet four in five people feel that exploring their creativity helps them to have a positive outlook on life regardless. Pay With A Poem is Julius Meinl’s contribution to this new wave of increasing positivity through creativity.
Participating coffee shops include The Pearson Room in Canary Wharf, Beaufort House in Chelsea, Northbank at One Paul’s Walk, Margot in Covent Garden, Manna Dew in Battersea and Belle Epoque in Upper Street and Newington Green. For the full list of #PayWithAPoem locations click here.
From Barack to Baywatch:
The A-listers Who Pen Poetry
For years, household names and famous faces have been finding a creative outlet in reading and writing poetry. Actors, models and even past Presidents have unleashed their imagination in writing, banishing the myth that poetry is reserved for the seasoned wordsmith. Give voice to your inner poet this World Poetry Day by taking inspiration from these A-listers.
1 Barack Obama
Long before his political career, former President of the United States Barack Obama made a brief foray into poetry. His two published works, Pop and Underground, were written during his university years, when he was likely in search of a creative outlet, providing much-needed light relief from the stacks of political textbooks! Perhaps the previous President will now recapture his adolescent literary talents? Stay tuned!
Beyoncé has been picking up the mantle of poetry in addition to her glittering career in music and film. In her critically acclaimed cult album Lemonade, the singer catapulted poet Warsan Shire into the spotlight. Featuring Shire’s talented works, Beyoncé brought the spoken word artist’s works into the mainstream. Naturally, the singer chose none other than Shire’s work as an accompaniment to her surprise pregnancy with twins.
3 Daniel Radcliffe
Writing under the pen name Jacob Gershon, it was revealed that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was moonlighting as a poet on the side of his film career. He told the Guardian: ‘As an actor, there is room for a certain amount of creativity, but you’re always ultimately going to be saying somebody else’s words. I love to write short stories and poetry, because those are my two passions. There is an art to a short story.’ A self-confessed romantic, Radcliffe has not only had his poetry published, but written personal works as a gift for his girlfriend.
4 Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson is a woman of many talents – an actress, model, animal rights activist – and part-time poet! Penned in 2014, Anderson published a 1,209 word epic poem that chronicles everything from love, Playboy, “that stuff on unwashed vegetables” and delivers cautionary advice: “never marry a rich man”. Although not explicitly mentioned in her work, many critics interpreted her pursuit into poetry as being inspired by her split from her then-husband Rick Salomon. The Baywatch star unexpectedly made her literary debut by sharing her work with her fans via her Facebook page, turning her broken heart into art.
5 James Franco
Alongside his career in film, the Hollywood heart-throb has been making waves in the poetry world. His debut collection of works, Directing Herbert White, was released in 2014. Franco, who has a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry, has found a creative outlet in his prose and is a natural to the world of poetry. He portrayed legendary beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the 2010 film Howl – named after Ginsberg’s most infamous work.
Feeling inspired by these poetry personalities? Join the #PayWithAPoem movement and visit participating locations serving Julius Meinl on World Poetry Day (21 March 2017). Those who write a poem can use this as currency to receive a complimentary coffee or tea of their choice.