Take a walk through Newark’s Riverfront Park searching for poems that tell the stories of the people who visit it! Listen to the poems by following the trail of photographs by photojournalist Ed Kashi that provide clues for discovering the poetry in and of Riverfront Park.
Poetry has long been a means of personal storytelling; PoemQuest tells the story of Riverfront Park through the voices of local poets commissioned by Newest Americans to interview visitors and share their stories through poetry. The poets asked questions designed to understand how visitors are connected to the park and to New Jersey—Where did your family come from before settling in New Jersey? What brought you here? What brings you to this park?
PoemQuest connects art to history through an interactive game that peoples the park with poetry. Once you play the game we encourage you to share your own poem about the journey that led you to Newark and your connection to Riverfront Park. Submit your poem
Dawn, your fingers bright with tats of roses and bling,
don’t throw a fit because your Portuguese Orion
strolls the park on break a couple times a week.
He’s not hunting for some sweet young thing,
he says, just likes watching the people, pick up ball,
gets the feels, the peace he doesn’t from working
in a body shop, remembering the blasted beasts—
stacks of trailers when this “beautiful, clean park…
was just a dump…now “it’s a whole new city”—
shinier than Troy (the smartass poet interjects)—“Huh?
“I’m from the Ironbound,” says Orion, whose real
name he asks to keep off book, but whose first initial
rhymes with “are,” as in we are walking in the sun
regardless, listening to our muses on our twists and turns…