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Slam poetry thrives in Trenton: Café International presents Ghandi’s Poetry Spot

in ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT/LOCAL by

Ghandi’s Poetry Spot (GPS) is an open-mic poetry event held at Café International on Friday nights. Café International, with its warm brick façade and floor-to-ceiling windows, is located on 241 East Front Street in the historic Mill Hill section of downtown Trenton.

The café is like a combination of grandma’s house and a hip  West Village dive. The feeling it offers is calm and relaxing and the staff is more than welcoming. The chic simplicity is accentuated by sparsely placed, small, wooden tables draped with maroon tablecloths .

The open-mic poetry event was started by Uganda Prescott, more commonly known as Ghandi, two and half years ago. His goal was to fill the void in Trenton’s open-mic night scene. Until GPS began most open mics in Trenton offered rap, hip-hop and singer-songwriters but no spoken-word poetry. Ghandi teamed up with Café International to create an ongoing gig that has become well known on the national slam and spoken-word poetry circuit.

Raul Cortes Jr., a regular at GPS and the host of a local open-mic night himself, said, “It is always a positive venue with a crowd that has open arms and I think it is remarkable that artists come from as far as Texas just to perform there.” He goes on to say, “You never know what to expect and that’s what makes it so entertaining.”

GPS runs every other week from 8:30 PM until all those who have signed up have participated. Beyond poetry, GPS offers conscious rap, blues, soul, beat boxing and hip-hop performances, and a band is always present to provide back up or live accompaniment to an act.

The café offers a menu consisting of a variety of dishes inspired by flavors from around the world. Some house specialties include: curry chicken or goat, orange glazed chicken and meatloaf.

As attendance at GPS increases, Ghandi praises the poets: “Without the artists and people who come in as well as the café, having this poetry spot would not have been possible.  For their contribution I am forever thankful.”

Ghandi says he hopes to one day become owner of his own poetry club. In the meantime, GPS continues to draw crowds at Café International. The next open mic at GPS will be held May 7. For more information check out the Ghandi’s Poetry Spot on this link.

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