Magic Ink: The Poem Market

With a “deep love for writing, poetry and what words look like when they’re spelled out in ink,” and after many long, interesting conversations with friends, Kourtney Jones set up her typewriter in the spring of 2017, offering on the spot poems for strangers.

Jones sets up her station with an intentional lack of signage to spark curiosity, which has proven to be very effective. She may then ask visitors to share memories, secrets or stories — anything they want to keep on paper forever. “This is where the magic lies,” Jones said, “and what ultimately connects me to deep listening. It takes me a few minutes to type a poem based on the conversation, and then I ask if I can read it to them. They get to leave with a poem, and pay whatever price they want.”

Jones has seen her poems kept in pockets like a fortune cookie message, framed on a wall or gifted to loved ones. The donation method of payment causes varied reactions from customers, but she’s committed to letting people pay what they can.

Jones has recently started typing for private events like weddings, holiday parties, corporate events and more. She’s also working on a book of her poems to sell at her pop up events.

To keep up on Jones’ pop up events, follow her on Instagram @thepoemmarket

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