CONTACT: Ellen Arnstein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOCAL ARTIST & MYSTIC TYPEWRITES INTUITIVE
POEMS FOR LIQUOR STORE PATRONS
Local community liquor store becomes unexpected site of
non-traditional creative residency; local love scribe Ellen Arnstein
brings poetic solace and joy to those looking for libations.
ELMWOOD, CONN. (OCT 16, 2019) — This Friday, October 18th, from 5:00-9:30pm, Harvest Wine & Liquors in Elmwood will serve as host to the SEVENTH installment of their admirably unusual TYPEWRITER POETRY & TASTING — featuring local love scribe Ellen Arnstein. In what might seem like a strange union to some, this locally loved liquor store is helping to bring the peace, healing, and power of poetry to its customers and the community at large. As patrons enter the store to buy a bottle for the night, they find themselves with the chance to commission their very own personal poem, typewritten on the spot by intuitive mystic and poet-for-hire Ellen Arnstein. In a place where people usually go to escape their lives, Arnstein helps patrons to adjust to their current moment — and all of its difficulties and joys — with the aid of a poem intuitively written in the moment just for them. The experience of requesting, and receiving, a personally meaningful poem in the middle of a liquor store is both surreal and special, and it is a beautiful example of how uniquely powerful partnerships between local businesses and artists can be.
While Harvest and friends serve up samples of fine wines and craft beers, Arnstein takes over the front of the shop on these Friday nights, setting up a miniature pop-up shop of her handmade metaphysical goods (zines, jewelry, cards, divination tools, and more) as well as her vintage manual typewriter. She types her poems while seated at a high-top table made out of an old barrel cask — although, as she tells it, they’re not really her poems at all. “The poems I typewrite for other people come from a place of universal connection — ” Arnstein says, “writing these poems is not an intellectual process, but rather an intuitive one.” Patrons prompt Arnstein in any way they like — or not at all, if they wish — and after selecting an illustrated poetry art card onto which the poem is typed, Arnstein takes a deep breath and begins to type away.
“I hear the first line in my head and then I just sort of shut off my mind and let my fingers go,” she says of the process. Each poem takes under ten minutes to write, and the patron is asked to pay what they think is fair in exchange for the one-of-a-kind piece of intuitive art. Arnstein suggests $25 for those who appreciate a guideline, but she has received payments from one dollar up to $150 for an on-demand poem, and she believes in allowing the patron to pay what they want, saying that “the value here is determined by them, not by me, and it’s important to me that the exchange of money reflect that.”
It has been said that a poem is the shortest emotional distance between two points, and this sentiment expresses well how Arnstein feels about her work as a Typewriter Poet. Patrons receive their poems with a surprising depth, and many of them express a feeling of being affirmed, or guided, or seen upon reading them. “I’ve re-read the poem [Ellen has] written numerous times; each time I read it it gives me goosebumps”, remarked Katie B. Sky of Tariffville after receiving her first poem during a Typewriter Poetry & Tasting. Arnstein says that “people definitely cry a lot when they read their poems, but it’s always, always, a good cry — a cry of release, a cry of joy, a cry of feeling seen and affirmed. When they cry, I know that I’ve properly done my work.”
Poetry has long been shown, both in clinical and anecdotal experience, to be one of the most powerful tools for healing and expression that human beings have. Since the days of early Greece, humans have actively utilized poetic expression to heal their emotional trauma, and in a world growing more traumatic by the day, humans seem to be turning to poetry again with a fervor. The NEA announced that between 2012 and 2017 poetry readership in America nearly doubled. Instagram and Twitter are so full of poets that editors and agents regularly turn to the social media platforms to find their next projects. In Great Britain, a woman known as the Emergency Poet recently opened a Poetry Pharmacy where-in she prescribes — you guessed it — poems to help heal what ails you.
“I find that there can be a lot of fear around poetry” Arnstein says, “that a lot of us are scarred by having had to learn or recite or write poetry without any meaning or structure in our youth. Many of us have been conditioned to find poetry to be stupid or silly or just something egotistical people do. I think we also sometimes avoid poetry because we are aware of its power, too. But when you break through those layers — which I’ve found is surprisingly easy to do — you find that everyone has, at some point in their lives, found solace through poetry. That everyone has found peace and found power through the reading, writing, and/or reciting of poetry. That poetry had been, and needs to be there, for everyone.”
She continues, “I think in these trying times we find ourselves living in, we are naturally moving towards poetry as a way to process the daily trauma we can’t help but to experience. It’s a natural human action, it’s the reason we have poetry in the first place — to heal. And it’s my honor to be able to connect people to that basic human truth in a place where we generally go to do the exact opposite — a liquor store.”
You can request and receive your very own poem this Friday night, October 18th, from 5:00-9:30pm at the seventh Typewriter Poetry & Tasting. Free beer and wine tasting until 8:30pm. Call the shop to see what will be up for sample. 21+ event, ID must be present. First come first serve. Harvest Wine & Spirits Elmwood — 1128 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford. Arnstein accepts cash, credit, and venmo for poems and handmade goods.
Typewriter Poetry & Tastings generally occur on the first three Fridays of the month. Arnstein’s residency with Harvest is open ended as of this time, and so all dates are subject to change. Visit her website or her instagram for more up-to-the-minute info.
If you are interested in learning more about Ellen and her Typewriter Poetry & Tasting events or her work as a Typewriter Poet, intuitive mystic, and local artist, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-352-0705, or visit her website ellenarnstein.com.
IMAGES ATTACHED --
1. Buy A Poem, Feed Your Soul illustration © Ellen Arnstein.
2. Arnstein typing at the Wadsworth. Photo © Owen James.
3. Sample poem on available poetry art card. A short run of these miniature broadsides were distributed as flyers around town. Poem will be included in forthcoming chapbook of Typewriter Poems. © Ellen Arnstein.
5. Photo of Arnstein at Harvest Wine & Spirits Elmwood. Photo © Brett Rasmussen.
6. Photo of Katie B Sky of Tariffville reading her second poem. Photo © Ellen Arnstein.
7. Sample poem from a Typewriter Poetry & Tasting. Photo © Ellen Arnstein.
8. Sample poem from a Typewriter Poetry & Tasting. Photo © Ellen Arnstein.