Poetry Open Mic Night :: Reflections (UPDATED now with pictures)
Last night’s Open Mic Night was very exciting. We had a wonderful mix of readers from Columbia students to friends and neighbors to the store. Like the first Open Mic Night, Columbia New Poetry had a strong presence at the reading. Becca, the Editor-in-Chief of New Po, started our evening off with a few poems from New Po’s
publication. Becca, and the other New Poetry members, were excited to preview some of the new work coming out in their next release on Saturday October 12th. (check back at Book Culture to pick up a copy). Becca got the ball rolling with a few short ethereal pieces. Leslie, a poet outside academia, shared a long poem with us that was very touching. She shared an anecdote with the audience before reading her piece about her life, which the audience responded to positively. We were excited to have Ben, a former employee stop in to share his work with us. Heavily influenced by Russian culture, Ben read a piece he wrote while living in St. Petersburg.
Every reader’s style differed in the most harmonious ways. From love poems to longing poems to poems about the self – in the most literal sense.
As the reading progressed, some more people came by and after a brief intermission we had a resurgence of readers. The latecomers were quick to get up and read after grabbing a few snacks, and we were all struck once again by the talent in the room. Some people read a second time, while others plucked up the courage to get up and read a piece or two. We even had someone improv a piece,
which is always a lot of fun for both the speaker and the audience. One particularly impressive young woman, Diana, an editor at 4×4 Magazine at Columbia,
recited a poem from memory that was incredibly touching. The second half was a more informal; the audience and the readers were freely conversing and joking between pieces. The positive energy from the audience was palpable. There was so much excitement to hear everyone read and discuss their work, the audience was engaged through all of the readings. They were barely distracted by the delicious snacks provided for the event.
We are really looking forward to our next reading with 4×4 Magazine on Friday October 18th at 7pm. This one will be open genre and we are encouraging anyone who would like to share to please sign up at the store the day of the event. Look out for more events on our website, and sign up on the website to receive email notifications to update you on Book Culture News.
All photos credited to Sean Connors