Visual Art and Poetry to Honor Jack Kerouac

Poetic Portals


April 8 from 7-11 pm
The Factory St. Pete
Details here

The Friends of Jack Kerouac present our next fundraiser, the Poetic Portals: Art and Poetry Exhibit on Saturday, April 8 in honor of National Poetry Month.

This showcase features 25 pairs of artists and poets from St. Pete and Tampa creating visual art in response to poems.

Kissing Grenades by John Gascot

Participating Literary and Visual Artists


Jon Meliferas + Jenipher Chandley

Yuki Jackson + Luckey Leroy

Sara Ries + Robert Wegmann

Rebel Poet + Vera Herrera the_rebel_poet

Michelle Lisan + Luke Heath

Gloria Muñoz + Merrit Capurro

Greg Byrd + Garre Liana

Rob McCabe + Wasil

Tyler Gillespie + Michael Fait

Stephanie Jackson + Laura Spencer aka Miss Crit

Antony Patterson + Tony Adams

Iris A. Morales aka LilWicked + Chris Sellen

Diana Nguyen + Zulu Painter

Pedro Jarquin + Betsy Lester

Suede_the_poet + Jade Jackson

Robyn Crosa

Rose Cervantes + Kris Meenan

Iamcarljr + Ted LoCascio

Keesha Brundridge + Amber Sparkle

Miesha Brundridge + Brandy Stark

Sade the writer + Derrick Kearney

Charles Hines401 + John Gascot

Hannah Newton + Britt Freemon

Anunspokenpoet + Michelle Klettke

Aenea + Rhys Meatyard

James Hartzell + Caelan Jefferys

Portrait of Kerouac in Ginsberg’s Apartment by Caelan Jefferys

It will be a fun evening at the immersive event space “Wayworld” at The Factory St. Pete, covered with murals by Jason Harvin aka Wayward Walls.

In Honor of Jack Kerouac’s Book of Haikus we will have an interactive installation meets make-and-take area in the entryway encouraging people to learn about and write haikus.

Still, mixed media collage by Betsy Orbe Lester

Live music from Jazz quartet The Johnny White Xperience starts at 7:30 with special guests.

Poetry performances take place from 8-9 pm and 9:30-10:30 pm.

Gravestones by Pedro El Poeta

The Friends of Jack Kerouac is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2013. We’ll be hosting a merchandise and information booth, with silent auction items and raffle prizes. You can meet our board members, dive into the Haiku Lab and enjoy the vibe!

Visual artwork will be on display for the month of April. Show curators are Jason Harvin and James Hartzell.

As the Crow Flies – Work in progress by Britt Freemon

This poem by Hannah Newton accompanies the painting of the same name by Britt Freemon.

As the Crow Flies


Drowsy eyes open toward the sun
Daffodils sprout in hopeful patches along the ditches
As if to say
“It’s okay. Keep going. It will be just the same when you return.”
Highway holds eagerness to grow life elsewhere
Tires melting into the pavement with each mile passed



Each day melts into the next
The weeks are a sweltering horizon line
Time pours like sorghum over a biscuit

The woods— our playground
Hugged tight by tall Pines
Their needles a plush blanket to carry our explorations
Our playground is open until dusk
When it is time for the washing of hands
And filling of belly

The grill in the backyard breathes out the smoke of hamburgers
Waiting to be accompanied by corn on the cob
And teasing banter
A porch that hugs our home
Hugs our family
As the sun says good day
And the Whip-poor-will comes out to play
A record on an endless loop
Notes occasionally catch in its throat
Praying to those that cannot leave
Its song ripples through the hand-stitched quilt of crops


Each strand woven strategically across country
Frayed edges touched by four lanes of gray
Applauding miles to vacations
The need to get out of town burning on asphalt



Leaves burn from the inside out
Crisp air tickles our goosebumps
Tempts our senses to submerge in the coming slumber

The road rushes bodies
Then holds them still
Tug-of-war to hold attention
Before it’s too late
A canopy of oranges and yellows welcomes home weary frames



The canopy has turned against us
Welcoming no longer
Tree grown ice picks ready to strike
At the first wrong breath

Gray lanes laced in ice
Not there for us
Freezes us into our homes
Huddled together

It is too dangerous to leave
But too cold to stay
Gas stove thaws our skin but not our souls
Eleven days before we can move again
Gray apologies and a promise
To be better for us

An oath to carry us toward the sun.


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