Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry
What is a poem worth? As authors around the world despair of making a living, a company based in Vienna has finally come up with a definitive answer: one cup of coffee.
Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862, is marking Unesco’s World Poetry Day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia, offering a dose of caffeine to any customer who hands over one of their own poems.
It’s not clear if cashiers will be exercising their critical judgment (“This comparison between your girlfriend and a red, red rose is a little overfamiliar – I’ll have to insist on a rewrite”), whether they’ll be focusing on quality or quantity (“This haiku is very nicely turned, but I don’t think it’ll stretch to a skinny frappucino extra-grande with the extra slice of melon”), or what kind of rights your barista will acquire over your work. But if you feel moved to liquidate your lines, you can find participating outlets on the campaign’s Facebook page – let us know how you get on either here or with the hashtag #PayWithAPoem on Twitter.