‘One hundred thousand poets’ come to Southampton

1,000 Poets for Change at the Hampton Coffee Company this weekend.
1,000 Poets for Change at the Hampton Coffee Company this weekend.

A wave of poets who’ve been looking to make change in their communities and the world since 2011 is spreading to Southampton today.

This afternoon, from 3 to 7 p.m., poet Madelon Chapman and performance artist Randy Lee Hendler are opening up the microphone at the Hampton Coffee Company’s new Southampton shop at 749 County Road 39A, next to BMW of Southampton, for an afternoon of performances in a benefit for the Peconic Land Trust and Kent Animal Shelter.

“We are opening the mic for poets, spoken words of all forms and acoustic musicians, to express what is in their souls about the condition of the world and their vision for its improvement,” said Ms. Chapman.

100 Thousand Poets for Change, also known as 100TPC, was started in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion in Santa Rosa, California, and has since spread around the world, with events held in late September each year broadcast live on their website from Budapest to Barcelona, Montevideo to Los Angeles.

Ms. Hendler, who hosted a 100TPC event while briefly living in Florida last year, recently moved home to Southampton, and she was looking through the poetry organization’s website about three weeks ago when she noticed there were no events being held on eastern Long Island. Hampton Coffee Company agreed to donate the use of their space, and the project has snowballed since then.

The 100TPC movement is designed to first get poets involved in sharing their work both in their local communities and in the global community, and then to have them expand on that involvement to promote social or political change, either on a local or a global level.

Ms. Hendler said she wanted to honor the work poets Scott and Megan Chaskey have done at the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, and also to get kids engaged in poetry in response to their love for animals by sponsoring the Kent Animal Shelter in Riverhead.

Donations will be accepted at the event.

“It’s a large space that’s both inside and outside, here will be coffee-making demonstrations. We’re hoping overflow traffic will come through from Southampton’s fall festival,” said Ms. Hendler. “This is a small start, but we’re hoping it will be an annual thing. There’s nothing like this in the Hamptons.”

To sign up to perform, either show up in person, or email madwithdesigns@gmail.com.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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