A young man sits in Washington Square Park with a sign around his neck. With only a clipboard, a writing pad and a pen for company, his passion for words is an opening to incredible human connections.
Sometimes all it takes to get people to drop their guard is a little sign. Like one that says “ASK ME FOR A POEM”. Meet Peter Chinman (broad fountain) a.k.a. The Park Poet.
It was a chance viewing of the Richard Linklater film, Before Sunrise, that inspired Peter to quit his day job and begin crafting words for strangers. That was two years ago. Now he completes dozens of impromptu poems every day for people he has never met. The interactions are, in his own words, “brief, fleeting and often electric”.
From his vantage point in one of Greenwich Village’s most iconic locations, the requests Peter receives can be as varied as his walk-up clientele. From eulogies to wedding vows, to ruminations on what goes on inside cows’ heads…nothing about his workday is predictable or easy. Next month sees the publication of his second compendium, Park Poems: Year Two.
As winter draws to a close, Peter is preparing for another season in front of the Washington Square Arch. We think a custom wordsmith deserves a custom pen, which is why we invited The Park Poet to design his own Extra using Montegrappa Configurator. He offered to write us a poem in return. We couldn’t be more delighted with how both turned out.