Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival is a community-based literary organization. The cornerstone of Parachute's work is a free two-day festival featuring renowned poets and writers reading at the New York Aquarium after hours, in the Alien Stingers Jellyfish Exhibit. Throughout the year, Parachute also offers creative writing workshops and innovative poetic events.
Parachute celebrates Coney Island’s vivid literary present and past through readings, letterpress broadsides, workshops and attention to the literary luminaries that have walked across Coney’s shores and been inspired by it—Walt Whitman, Muriel Rukeyser, and Henry Miller, to name but a few.
This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” — Walt Whitman
Tupac lives! Maya is one of the students in Parachute’s afterschool writing workshop with the YWCA at Rachel Carson HS in Coney Island. We have started a poetry lending library there! She has been reading the books from our lending library. You can see Maya’s poems and some words from the other girls in the workshop here