Jersey City is one of the municipalities in Hudson County that supports artists of all kinds. All the way from street artists to writers to actors. With that being said, the Jersey City Arts Council’s (JCAC) Literary Arts Committee presented the city with its very first poetry festival.
“Jersey City has a thriving arts scene and is quickly becoming an arts destination,” said Susan Justiniano, the JCAC’s Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and Board’s liaison to the Literary Arts Committee.
The JCAC met in December 2016 for the first time and has been meeting ever since. It is an all-encompassing, diversified, community-focused 501(c)(3) organization created to represent the community of artists in Jersey City. The organization is dedicated to supporting and campaigning for arts organizations, individual artists, all artistic fields in addition to pushing fresh yet cutting-edge additions to the artistic scenery and cultural growth of Jersey City.
The organization has several advisory committees, all the way from the Film & TV committee, Public Art committee, Arts Education committee, Architecture committee, among many others, said Robinson Holloway, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the JCAC.
“The purpose of the committees is to involve members of the arts community in their areas of specialty to get their expertise and advice,” said Holloway. “The work of the committees is to strengthen and amplify what already exists and to create opportunities that can only be achieved collectively through collaboration with the Arts Council.”
Holloway noted that the Literary Arts Committee was formed in December 2017 and currently has more than a dozen members from all parts of the city.
“At the January meeting we discussed the existing poetry events that were going on in the city and decided to bring them together in the calendar into one festival – with JC Writers’ poetry event “Viral Verse” as the opening event on April 21, and the JC Slam finals as the Festival finale,” she said.
According to Holloway, “Viral Verse” was a terrific night of poetry as touching, powerful and occasionally hilarious work was read. To add on, award-winning poet Suzanne Parker was featured as well as several poems selected from more than 100 submissions that were read by actors and a preview of the JC Slam finals, which was well received. The JC Slam finals will be held at the Harborside Atrium where eight slam poets will compete for a spot to represent Jersey City in the National Poetry Slam that will take place in Chicago this upcoming August.
There are a variety of events scheduled throughout the nine days of the festival such as performances, poetry writing workshops, an evening of jazz and poetry, a trivia night, a panel discussion, and many more.
The Poetry Festival will run from April 21 to April 29. For more information and to purchase tickets for any of the Poetry Festival’s events, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-jersey-city-poetry-festival-tickets-44803464368.