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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Write On the Poetry Spot: A meeting of the minds

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Many believe that the romantic drama “Love Jones” is a classic film that introduced viewers to the burgeoning but underground world of spoken word poetry.

The poets were ultra-cool; their words and delivery reached the inner corners of the intellect. Even lead male character Darius Lovehall’s ode to Nina was one of the greatest scenes in Black cinema.

“The Sanctuary,” the poetry venue featured in the film, sets the tone for a poetry space. However, Write on the Poetry Spot takes that concept to a new level.

Ja’Net Edwards and Kevin Gill†, owners of Write on the Poetry Spot, have seamlessly fused an atmosphere of serenity and acumen with hospitality. It is a place where everyone is a kindred spirit.

“We both write poetry but I think it was divine intervention that made us choose to use the space as a poetry recital venue,” said Edwards.

Edwards and Gill did draw aesthetic inspiration from “Love Jones,” but wanted to provide Indianapolis residents with something unique.

Instead of creating a place where poets simply recite their verses, Write On has become a healing place, a place of comfort where both novice and experienced poets can cohesively coexist.

“There are times when someone has gone through a break up, and someone has gotten up on that stage and their heart bled about how passionate they were about the person who’s left them,” added Gill.

This literary art gallery not only serves as a safe haven, but a place where people have joined forces for creative collaboration. Bands have formed at Write On, relationships have grown and there has been at least one marriage proposal there.

Gill and Edwards even found a jewel out of the rough-around-the-edges, comedic-like poet Jeffrey Rhodes or “J-da 1,” the voice and resident host of Write On’s poetry gatherings which happen on the fourth Friday of each month.

“I think we’ve all written poetry and didn’t know it. Most of my poetry is funny,” said Rhodes. “I thought it was an honor to be the host. It’s a good time with good people.” Rhodes’ humor augments the poetic ambience at Write On, a place where strangers become family.

“We’re so close, sometimes we’ll get up and do some of each other’s pieces as kind of a tribute to someone sitting in the audience,” said Gill.

Rhodes added that while some poetry venues cater to more accomplished poets and spoken-word artists, Write On is a place where poets of all kinds feel more comfortable performing pieces that deal with a wide range of topics because at Write On, there’s no pressure for perfection or judgment.

This intimate meeting of the minds recently celebrated its 4th anniversary and throughout those years, the Write On proprietors cite observing birthdays and seeing poets grow and move on to other cities amongst their favorite memories.

Edwards and Gill are proud of their accomplishment but want to continue to supply Indianapolis’ growing poetry scene a friendly and unpretentious venue. They also have goals to expand their ideas to include offering scholarships to budding poets and mentoring opportunities for area youth. Immediate plans include entering the film industry.

Through thick and thin, Edwards and Gill have stood by Write On and hope others not only stop by to enjoy great poetry, but to inspire others to think outside of the box and pursue entrepreneurial goals. Because of their idea, Write On the Poetry Spot has become a melting pot of positive, progressive, creative people that is destined to become a refuge for great poetry.

“It keeps getting bigger and better,” said Rhodes.

For more information about Write on the Poetry Spot, 3326 N. Clifton St., call (317) 250-5163.

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