CAMDEN, NJ — The literary stylings of 18th-century Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns may not pair exactly with a slice of New York pizza. But don’t tell that to Rocky Wilson.
“That's right, Robert Burns! Everyone should come out,” said Wilson, a local teacher who has been hosting the monthly poetry night since December 1994. “It's your chance to get haggis for free and it's a delicacy if you've ever had it.”
Wilson, a staple of the community, has lived in Camden since 1974. He began the nightly event during a celebration for his birthday and continued the tradition by honoring other poets including Roy Rogers and Edgar Allan Poe.
Attendees are invited to bring their own food, as well as any poem or work of art they'd like to share with others. Readers can also opt to read a poem by Burns or another poet they'd like to commemorate.
In addition to being a poet and performance artist, Wilson has a master’s degree in dance education from Temple University. He also studied creative writing at both Penn State and Rutgers University.
Wilson made particular note of Burn's 1788 poem, “Auld Lang Syne” — a rollicking piece that's traditionally paired with a folk song, and often marks the end of the old year and start of the new.
“Sometimes people bring guitars and other instruments too,” he said, encouraging anyone interested to make the night their own.
A Little Slice of NY is located at 120 North 3rd St. Camden. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.