This World Poetry Day (March 21st), coffee roaster Julius Meinl and critically acclaimed musician, JP Cooper, invites coffee and tea lovers to unleash their inner poet and have their written word serve as currency for the day.
The opportunity comes as part of the fifth annual Pay With A Poem initiative, which will see JP Cooper create a song to celebrate poets from around the world in a bid to showcase how music can be a gateway to enjoying poetry in 2018.
While music and lyrics have always felt universal, poetry by comparison has been widely recognised as a platform reserved for the literati. However, with the lines between music and poetry more intertwined than ever, the Vienna-based coffee roaster hopes to make poetry accessible to the masses.
With coffee and tea serving as the creative fuel for a day, those who take part in the event will have the unique opportunity to turn their written word into currency, with a hot beverage available in return for every poem written.
Music-News.com caught up with JP to find out more...How did you get involved with World Poetry Day?
I’m a big coffee drinker – and I actually used to work in a coffee shop before embarking on my music career – so when I heard about the campaign to celebrate World Poetry Day, I was really happy to take on the challenge. Do you feel that music and poetry are interlinked?
Yes! Over the years I’ve seen the lines between music and poetry becoming intertwined. Just take one look at how music festivals are changing – there are now spoken word stages and poetry performances, which are drawing big crowds. For me as an artist, having a true understanding of how poetry can inspire my music is fundamental. Some of the most influential artists today are making poetry accessible and contemporary for the masses simply via their music. What is the idea behind Pay With A Poem?
It’s simple - the Pay With A Poem campaign is designed to brew creativity through poetry. Now in its fifth year, the initiative invites customers to unleash their inner poet and pay for their coffee and tea with a poem on World Poetry Day! It’s the perfect way for people to enjoy poetry in an unconventional way. Do you see music as a gateway to poetry in 2018?
Oh absolutely – it’s one of the best gateways to experiencing and enjoying poetry! Rhyme and verse is an integral part of my song-writing process and through this campaign with Julius Meinl I ultimately hope to show that poetry lives everywhere, in music and beyond. Social media has made poetry more accessible, what’s your advice to any young poets starting out?
Whether it’s talking to someone or simply putting pen to paper - there truly is power in language and expressing how you feel. This would be a good place to start for anyone wanting to write poetry – or songs for that matter.
To your point about social media, you just have to take one look at Insta-poets such as Rupi Kaur, who has amassed over two million followers. It’s no secret that Instagram has contributed to young poets’ success in a similar vein to how YouTube provides a generation of musicians with a platform to attract attention to their work. Similarly, this also makes poetry so accessible to the younger generation – not to mention inspires them! Is coffee a natural ally to music & poetry?
There is a strange world between coffee and writing. It might be a bit cliché but it’s definitely there! Coffee helps you hit pause. It provides a moment when you can sit there and do nothing but take in your surroundings and tap into your emotions, which of course helps to get those creative juices flowing.You partnered with Julius Meinl for this years Pay With A Poem campaign, what do you hope this collaboration will achieve?
Working with Julius Meinl has given me the opportunity to celebrate my fellow wordsmiths, poets and lyricists the world over. I hope the song that I’m creating as part of this initiative will demonstrate that poetry lives everywhere. I want to inspire people to try out – or rediscover – this once neglected art form. With coffee and tea serving as the creative fuel, thousands of people all over the world will be putting pen to paper, just like me.How does your own songwriting process work?
Lately I’ve been trying to spend the first 20 minutes of my day writing.. even before I get out of bed. I mostly just choose a word and let my mind wander for that 20 minutes. It’s amazing how many sparks for songs have came out of this process. I usually write the music when I’m in the studio and often write the lyrics at home or in a coffee shop whilst listening to the tracks that I’ve built in the studio. There’s always coffee involved somehow.When can we look forward to a new album?
I’m currently working on lots of new material, including a few collaborations. We don’t have a definite date set for album 2 but I can guarantee that I’ll be releasing lots of music this year. Any themes or working title?
Nothing that I’m ready to share yet, but I’ll be teasing some new music real soon. What would you say is your most poetic song to date?
I would go with, “the only reason” or “colour me in gold”Which songwriters do you think could also be classed as poets?
Every songwriter is a poet in some way. Some more poetic than others but I think there’s poetry in everybody who writes. If I had to name some that are amazing I would start with Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits . Anything else to say to Music News readers?
Just grab a coffee and have a go at Pay With A Poem! Even if you’ve never written before. You might surprise yourself.
JP Cooper is the global ambassador for Julius Meinl’s Pay With A Poem campaign #PayWithAPoem #PoetryForChange. To find out more about the movement and how you can get involved, visit www.facebook.com/JuliusMeinlOfficial