By Diane Jagels
Grab an Espresso or Chai Tea Latte and find a seat among the deep red leather chairs or at the aged wooden tables. Enjoy the words flowing from the microphone on this chilly night.
On February 12th the Chestatee Review hosted Open Mic Night upstairs in the campus Starbucks café in Dahlonega. With a string of lights to make a stage and a couple of microphones, poets, students, and faculty had a chance to wear their hearts on their sleeve and share personal writing or favorite poems. Several speakers shared poems and stories pertaining to past grievances that only writing could save them from. With their beautifully written poetry and the emotion behind the words the audience and poet had a chance to grow closer. Open Mic Night allowed strangers to become friends through writing and boundaries of the day disappeared as they shared the common love of writing.
Every genre of work was welcomed with applause as people shared poetry or prose that has impacted them. And, in light of Valentine’s Day, several love poems lightened the evening, such as Taylor Mali’s Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog. The chuckles and laughter allowed Open Mic Night to become an informal and relaxed environment for any writer to share. The evening was about the conversation between one poet to another or to those sitting with coffee or textbooks, merely there to listen. Open Mic Night is about inclusion and the audience certainly made any speaker feel welcome and appreciated. The methods have changed, from paper books to laptop screens and Smartphones, but the meaning behind Open Mic Night remains the same: a chance for anyone to grab a microphone and convey the written word through voice and share in the experience of poetic expression.
So next time Open Mic Night comes, definitely take the chance and grab your favorite poem and an Earl Grey Tea and join fellow writers for a night to remember.