Pay with a Poem 2016

On March 21st, World Poetry Day, we let our imagination wander. We dreamt of a place where money was replaced by emotions. A better world. For one day, we changed the currency in coffeehouses around the globe. And Julius Meinl coffees or teas were paid for with people’s poems.

The PoeTree

- installation by our ambassador Robert Montgomery, in the business heart of London -

Thousands of poems written by everyday poets all over the world on #PayWithAPoem day turned into a tree with poem leaves growing straight from the pavement on Finsbury Avenue Square, in the City of London.

A PoeTree – able to re-infuse the glass & concrete city with emotions.

“We need poetry as much as we need nature. We need it to repopulate the places devoid of emotion, with our dreams and our imagination. Poems can change our days for the better. They did it on March 21st. They are doing it now, once again.”

Robert Montgomery

Watch our Pay with a Poem 2016 post event movie here

In Milan, Julius Meinl placed thousands of poems on a bridge over the Navigli River. In other countries across Europe, the poems were showcased to the public through poetry books placed in Julius Meinl coffeehouses to inspire coffee drinkers, or published online.

From Vienna to Shanghai, from Chicago to Hamburg, from London to Dubai, and from Moscow to Istanbul.

In 34 countries and 1300 coffee houses, more than 100,000 poems were written.

As the Pay With A Poem global initiative from Julius Meinl grows wider and wider with every edition, we are waiting for you to be part of it next year!



“I love how Pay With A Poem provides a little pocket of freedom, where money is replaced by poetry. Instead of using a banknote or a credit card people can transfer value to poetry, and use it as an alternative form of payment.”

Robert Montgomery

Pay with a Poem 2016 Location Map

Robert Montgomery

Our global ambassador is a force to be reckoned with in the art world. Robert is a man on a mission to keep poetry alive, believing he can do so by democratising poetry, keeping it contemporary and accessible and taking classic literature to new media and the digital world. Just like Julius Meinl, he is dedicated to changing the world with poetry.

Robert Montgomery spreads his provoking messages across the globe through installations in unexpected urban sites including Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, the gardens of the Louvre, the renowned C24 gallery in New York and under bridges in East London. His work is disruptive and stays with you long after the physical piece is gone.

Robert’s work is also prolific across the Internet and social media, where it has garnered a huge following. He believes the digital space is an increasingly useful medium for poetry as it enhances its impact by allowing it to travel further and transform.

Robert Montgomery’s view on Pay with a Poem

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Pay with a Poem 2015

Find out more about last year’s event now.

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