Man standing at mic

The Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation and partners are excited to host The Poetry Cafe at Virginia Tech on February 2, 2022 for two special events addressing the theme of “Planting the Seed.” Hosted by Mr. Josephus Thompson III, founder of the Poetry Cafe and host of 90.1FM’s The Poetry Café program, come experience the cultural artform of social transformation through creative expression and community weaving.

The Poetry Cafe on Trustees Without Borders (Podcast Episode)

During their stay at Virginia Tech, Josephus Thompson III, poet and creator of the Poetry Cafe, along with friend and colleague, Michael Carter Jr., an 11th generation farmer who operates Carter Farms, in Orange County, Virginia, recorded a podcast episode with our partners in the Insitute for Policy and Governance within the School of International and Public Affairs. In this conversation, Josephus and Michael discuss the ways creativity, the rhythm of poetry, and nature help to inspire their work with the community and inspire change. The podcast recording is available on the Apple Podcasts site and the Anchor website.

Josephus Thompson III and Michael Carter Jr., two Black men in colorful, patterned clothing in the recording studio in front of a microphone, smiling
Josephus Thompson III and Michael Carter Jr. in the Studio

The Poetry Cafe: Open Mic Event

February 2, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Haymarket Theatre, Squires Student Center

The Poetry Cafe’s open mics are dynamic and provide a catalyst for community building, a space to share dreams and ambitions, loves and frustrations. Backed by a live band, a phenomenal host and soulful vocals help support participants coming to the stage with poetry, songs, monologs, dances, raps and more. We anticipate this event will be a powerful outlet for all involved and an opportunity for our community to come together. Free of cost, no registration required. All are welcome. Limited open mic slots are available so come early if you want a chance to sign up to share during the show. 

Pre-show Reception

February 2, 2022 5:00-6:00 pm
The Black Cultural Center, 126 Squires Student Center

Come early and join us for a pre-show reception hosted by Virginia Techs’s Black Cultural Center, Africulture, and Carter Farms. Light refreshments provided. This event is open to all; students, faculty, staff, and community members. Space is limited.

Creative Writing Workshop

February 2, 2022 1:00-2:30 pm
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus 

Join us for an experiential writing workshop where Josephus III, founder of the Poetry Cafe, will guide participants through an exploration of the theme “Planting the Seed” as a way to share ideas around community change and creative expression. No writing experience is needed. This workshop is open to Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students.



  • Africulture
  • Carter Farms
  • The Community Change Collaborative (CCC) of the VT Institute for Policy and Governance
  • The Center for Humanities
  • The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • The School of Performing Arts
Man sitting in arm chair writing in a notebook

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Katie Trozzo at or 540-231-4582 at least 10 days prior to the event.