Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the first annual Jax by Jax event. Riverside’s Park and King streets were buzzing with people. In celebration of local talent and creativity, the historic district played host to several readings by writers from our own community known essentially as Jax by Jax. The inaugural event couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time. With the launching and success of several other artistic ventures like Perversion, Bridge Eight, and “Writing Nights” by Left on Mallory, Jax by Jax helped draw more awareness to our burgeoning literary community.

A few weeks before the event, I’d spoken to Tim Gilmore, Jax by Jax creator and writer of “In Search of Eartha White.” He explained the idea behind the event, “[Jax by Jax] is Jacksonville writers writing about Jacksonville,” Gilmore said. “If you come to Jax by Jax, you’ll go in and out of Riverside’s Park and King District’s businesses in order to hear what Jacksonville’s writers have to say about [the city].” Although, he added that the writers didn’t have to strictly adhere to writing exclusively about Jacksonville.

And that is exactly what happened Saturday, November 8.

Prose, poetry and even musical performances of all sorts could be experienced in various venues throughout the night. Among the featured artists were Jennifer Chase, Sohrab Fracis and T.F. Straight.

The readings and performances took place in several merchants including Lola’s Burrito & Burger Joint, Cafe Freda, and Paperwhite Salon that looped every half hour. This enabled attendees the liberty of moving from venue to venue at their discretion to catch multiple performances during the evening.

Here is a run down (with photos) of the first Jax by Jax evening, in case you missed it:

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The readings and performances started promptly at 3 p.m. Venues, like Flaire Celebrations, put up signage to help direct participants.

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Writer and musician, Mark Ari, performs a few stories and songs at Cafe Freda.

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An audience gathers inside Paperwhite Salon to listen to Heather Peters and Sohrab Fracis.

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Tim Gilmore reading from In Search of Eartha White inside Silver Cow.

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Also at Silver Cow, Matt Lany reads aloud some humorous poetry.

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Lenny Owens III, a writer pubished in Perversion Magazine, shares some of his latest works at Lola’s Burrito Joint.

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Beer:30, another venue for the evening’s celebrations.

Although it was impossible to see all 25 writers during the span of the evening’s celebrations, it was a great experience. I am already looking forward to next year’s Jax by Jax.