Pay for Your Morning Joe with a Poem
Cafe chain allows customers to trade in poetry to get coffee on World Poetry Day
What if you could exchange a diddy for your morning cup of coffee? Perhaps a quick haiku for that extra shot of espresso? While most days of the year such a trade could never be made, March 21 was UNESCO World Poetry Day and Meinl Coffee shops accepted the verses as a form of payment.
Over 1,000 of Meinl Coffee cafes participated in the celebration of accepting poetry as currency. The promotion was running in 34 different countries, primarily located in Europe, but with some outposts in Asia, North America, and Australia.
The promotion is simple: you come into one of the stores, write on a small piece of paper provided by the cafe a small poem of your own creation, and receive a free cup of coffee.
While the poems themselves are small pieces of customers’ thoughts and feelings, the company is going one step beyond just having them turn them in. Conceptual artist Robert Montgomery will collect all of the poems and create an exhibition, turning the small works into a large collaboration. The exhibit will be held at an undisclosed location, so admiring the collective works of the cafe’s patrons might be a bit of a challenge.
While it’s too late to grab that free cup of coffee this year, Meinl Coffee runs the same promotion every year, giving you the right amount of time to perfect that sonnet. If you’re in the New York area, however, and are itching to trade a limerick for a glass of beer or a cup of tea, Molasses Books in Brooklyn is happy to make the exchange.
To see more about this exchange of caffeine for written word, watch the video below: