By Kimya Afi Ayodele
“What kind of poetry do we do here at the PicNap Poetry Series?”
“All kinds of poetry!” came the proud responses of the crowd of diverse women and men, old and young, black and white, gay and straight, who were gathered Nov. 10 at the newly opened Java Exchange Cafe in Detroit.
The coffeehouse, located in the Tech Town Techone Building near the Wayne State University campus and New Center area, opened on Nov. 3 and boasts the usual free wireless Internet access and original coffeehouse goodies.
The PicNap Poetry Series, after being on hiatus this past summer due to having to leave the now closed Meetery Eatery Coffeehouse, will continue to offer the community its very popular set of open mic, slam, round robin sets by “virgin” poets (those new to reading in front of an audience) and PicNap poets in residence, in addition to the featured poet of the evening.
Doors open every Friday evening at 8 p.m. and the poetry begins at 9 p.m. Mistress of Ceremony and Slam Master Kalimah “Loc Mama” Johnson and Bout Manager Johnny “JY Obadele” Jenkins, along with sounds by Andre’ Royster and Michelle “DJ Free Thought” Anderson of Sound Circle Collective, remain at the helm of this project.
The cover is $5, $7 after 9 p.m.
The atmosphere of the new spacious loft-like cafe, with its high ceilings, include the usual table and chairs, but also a warm, glowing faux fireplace surrounded by large, soft armchairs that resemble a cozy living room space. The cafe also advertises that it provides only one unlabeled unisex bathroom, which may alleviate the “bathroom drama” often experienced in the LGBT community.
There are also two large wall mounted LCD televisions that show frequent New York Stock Exchange updates; and this is what makes this cafe unlike the usual coffeehouse cafe. Proprietor, Ramone Crow, Jr., has decided to also offer his customers financial and entrepreneurial educational workshops.
For more information on the PicNap Poetry Series, visit http://www.picnap-poetry.com or http://www.myspace.com/picnappoetryseries.