It’s a unique little event that unfolds over the course of a late-autumn weekday in Red Bank, taking place at various locations around town (train station, library, hospital, classroom), and involving the participation of people ranging from Mayor Pasquale Menna and volunteer emergency responders to staffers from Lunch Break and students from the borough’s schools.
It’s Giving Poetry Tuesday, a “celebration of Red Bank’s voices” that finds people from all walks of local life taking part in a collaborative community poetry reading between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. Organized by Project Write Now, the initiative is an engagingly interactive lead-in to the borough-based nonprofit’s main event: an evening open house unveiling of its new, expanded studio space at 25 Bridge Avenue.
Scheduled for the hours between 6 to 9 pm, the studio grand opening celebration offers the public a chance to meet the staff, board members and students of the nonprofit co-founded by Jennifer Chauhan and Allison Tevald; enjoy light refreshments and take a tour of the new Suite 130 studio, downstairs from the old space (inside the Town and Country Kitchen and Bath building next door to Two River Theater), and accessible through the side parking lot.
Several of Project Write Now’s students will read from their own original works — and all members of the community will have an opportunity to learn about the many programs offered by the Write Now team, from studio classes to literacy outreach a new after-school writing endeavor.
That after-school program (detailed here on redbankgreen) evolved from an Outreach Program conducted with Red Bank Middle School students, the results of which inspired the dedication of the all-new, self-contained environment for young and aspiring wordsmiths. As Tevald explained, the new space offers “a professional atmosphere” where students will work under the guidance of editors and mentors with the goal of publishing their work in literary journals and anthologies while also preparing them for the college essays and job applications that they may encounter in years to come. The after-school program is funded in part through individual contributions, and donations can be made via PayPal here or by check mailed to Project Write Now, 25 Bridge Ave., Suite 130, Red Bank, NJ 07701.
The open invitation extends as well to Giving Poetry Tuesday, with any and all members of the community welcome to take a moment to share a poem with friends, co-workers or family — then tag Project Write Now in a video or photo using #givingpoetrytuesday #givingtuesday and @projectwritenow.