It started with an open mic and a semicircle of chairs in a church classroom in Nashville, TN.
We weren’t sure anybody would come; we weren’t even sure how many poets were hanging around at Hutchmoot 2017. Sure, The Rabbit Room is home to many poetry lovers, but loving and writing are different things. So we asked people to bring two poems—one they wrote and one they loved—and come willing to share, whether they call themselves a poet or not. If only five people came, well, that would be fine.
Well, people totally came—over thirty, all with poems of their own. Poems about blueberries, the ghost of Martin Luther, and one little piece introduced with “I’ve only read this to my therapist.” And after every poem, the room overflowed with kindness and encouragement.
Two hours wasn’t enough to share all the poetic goodness in the room, so the next year, we hosted two open mics. And because we couldn’t help but keep going, in November 2018 The Poetry Pub Facebook group was born. And now we’re excited to share our first chapbook with you!
In our first community chapbook, we explore the theme of home and place. From an African village to New England woods, and the lights of Beijing to a backyard swing, join us as we contemplate our place in the world through twenty-two original poems, plus a collaborative piece by Poetry Pub members. We hope you enjoy this collection as much as we loved putting it together for you.
You can download The Poetry Pub Chapbook Vol. 1 for free on Noisetrade. (Any tips received will be donated to The Rabbit Room.) And if you love writing poems too, visit us on Facebook and send a request to join!
Jen Rose Yokel is a poet, freelance writer, and spiritual director. Her words have appeared at She Reads Truth, CCM Magazine, and other publications, and she released her first poetry collection Ruins & Kingdoms in 2015. Originally from Central Florida, she now makes her home in Fall River, Massachusetts with her husband Chris, where you can find her enjoying used bookstores and good coffee.