Poets have been writing in cafes as long as cafes have been around, but now some poets are staying as long as six months. The Cafe Poet program, an initiative of Australian Poetry, places poets in cafes as 'poets in residence'. The poet is given space to write, and complimentary drinks. How often a poet is 'in residence' is negotiated with the individual cafe.
In return for its hospitality, the cafe becomes part of the poetry community, gets some useful promotion and can plan events with the poet - which could bring in new paying customers.
The program began at Australian Poetry in February 2009. More than sixty poets have been placed in cafes all round Australia since the program kicked off. You can see a list of them online.
Poets should keep an eye on the program as applications for new residencies are advertised through the site.