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
“Together with Nike Basketball Design Director Leo Chang, Nike designer Ben Nethongkome built a shoe that could harness the power of Kyrie’s lightning-fast footwork on the court, and speak to his unique style off the court.” – nike.com
Did you see him speeding by in all black and white?
Full force before he hits that midcourt in and out cross
and you catch his size 6 Q-Tip bright white Nike signs
right before he hits the backstep to fadeaway jumper.
He’s the man in these mid-tops that give him bounce
from University Heights to the Ironbound. Every touch-up
a Saturday morning cereal bowl spoon feeding of catalog-like
information before dropping dimes to a teammate.
“He’s getting past me because of his flexible traction…”
he runs down the court and cuts like grass before
taking his jumpshot. The next play he makes a layup
with my large hand in his face and lets me know,
“His responsive cushioning is giving him ups!” I go slightly
left when his body goes slightly right and I catch the gleam
of an orange sun in his glasses when he yells, “Curry!”
burying another jumper from the lean. “You see the split
down his sole? That’s how I can shake you,” he says. This kid
has dreams like all the others that spit wishes onto this court
he spits a snow globe of hustle in a glob of phlegm. Even
screaming a Warrior’s name I see him closer to the man
that represents his shoe, “Did you know Kyrie is from New Jersey?” He says,
“West Orange,” but he went to school in Elizabeth that’s right by the IronBound
And he tells me basketball is his life when I’m taking a water break
in this summer heat. That he’s at this playground whenever his mother
can bring him on Saturday or when his sister has a softball game.
His park is like my park where I had a similar dream. Where I based
skill off of the double handed dunk stitched to the side of my shoe,
hanging low in the post, backing down twice before taking a powerstep
to the rim. I didn’t mind if I played half court or full court, as long as
I was allowed to stay in this box where time was only understood in the
score of 21 and win-by-two. Where throwing orange suns until dusk
helped us burn brighter than the idols we worshipped on our sneakers.