Poetry Showcase Moves to Deus Ex Machina After Dispute with Lola Coffee

Jack Evans and Shawnte Orion's big night at Lola Coffee never materialized.

Earlier this month, the Caffeine Corridor poetry showcase co-hosts arrived at the downtown Lola (at Third Avenue and Roosevelt Street) for its monthly steady and were told that the coffee shop would be closing at 8 p.m.

The two local poets were aware that, in September, Lola had changed its operating times and were no longer staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays.

But according to Evans and Orion, Lola staff members had agreed that they would make an exception for the monthly Caffeine Corridor series and remain open past regular business hours.

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It didn't exactly work out as Evans had planned ...

"I informed the barista that we had a standing engagement on Second Fridays," says Evans. "The barista then told me that I should have called to confirm the event and that they would not stay open past eight. We canceled our two features and held an extended open mic instead since there was a large audience on hand eager to participate."

Orion adds,"They told us that they loved having us there . . . but for some reason, when we arrived, we were shocked to learn that they suddenly 'didn't know it was our poetry night' so they were not staying open late for us," he says. "I never investigated any further. It could have been some simple mistake, rather than sabotage. But it doesn't matter. I don't have a whole lot of tolerance for that kind of nonsense. If it happened once, I have no more trust in them that they wouldn't do that to us again."

A Lola employee tells New Times, "I don't know why [the poets] would be upset . . . we were nothing but nice to them," and then declined further comment on the matter.

Though Orion swears he doesn't have an ax to grind with the coffee shop, he and Evans have decided to end Caffeine Corridor's three-month run at Lola. Instead, the poetry showcase will now take place at Deus Ex Machina, an art gallery and performance space at 1023 Grand Avenue, beginning at 7 p.m. November 12.

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