QUINCY -- The poetry nights hosted by Unity Church are no longer one of the community's best-kept secrets.
"It's now usually standing-room only," said Jennifer Brown, an administrator with the church who will be at Friday's 7 p.m. gathering.
This will be the fifth poetry night offered over the past two years at Unity, 403 Hampshire. This also will be the first event at the remodeled church since the building was damaged by an automobile that crashed into it in June.
Brown said the poetry nights serve as an outreach, pointing to the words of the late James Dillet Freeman, the poet laureate of the Unity Church.
"Freeman wrote, ‘Everyone who writes hopes that what he writes will turn out to be a poem -- that is, an intense and beautiful revelation of truth ... poetry is the lightning of God,'" Brown said. "We honor this legacy by celebrating the local artist."
There are 21 scheduled local participants for Friday night. The lineup includes not only poets, but also musicians and other performers.
"The evening promises a diverse range of poetry, stories and music," Brown said. "We have members who are quite creative."
Brown said the poetry nights always attract an interesting range of ages and interests.
"We have had those of college age to as old as 80," she said.
Church members Jan Barrett and Bryant Holliday will be coordinating the event.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with a $1 offering asked or a nonperishable food item.