The Neighborhood Laundromat is not a place you’d expect to find poetry.
The machines are loud and the fluorescent lights flicker as people periodically come in and out the door at 4200 14th Ave., Rock Island. Laura Winton, however, has taken advantage of the space.
In October, Ms. Winton began “Coin-Op Poetry Readings” in a space designed for people to air their dirty laundry. At 9 p.m. on the first and third Monday of every month, The Neighborhood Laundromat becomes the Quad-Cities’ place to find rhyme and, maybe, a little bit of reason.
“I used to have a coin-op (poetry session) in Minneapolis because I walked in to a laundromat one day and the acoustics were so great!” she said. “When I moved back, I started coming here and it’s open 24 hours so I decided to start one again.
“I got an adjunct teaching position at Scott (County Community College) and I’m just really someone who has to do something in the community,” she said. “I just had to do my own thing.”
With four to eight active participants, the group is small enough to provide everyone with the chance to read and discuss their work. Attendees are also free to bring work by their favorite authors to share.