The Chestatee Review: Open Mic Night at the Gainesville Campus

     The Nesbitt Café is filled with the clamor of excited conversation, guitar string tuning, and hushed voices murmuring last minute rehearsals as the clock reads 10 minutes until 6PM on a rainy Tuesday evening.  The air has an electric current that hums like the microphone and speakers lined up against the back wall. Writers, musicians, singers, beat-boxers, and poets fill the seats in anticipation for a night of musical and literary communion. This is the spring semester Open Mic Night sponsored and orchestrated by the UNG student magazine, The Chestatee Review.

     When 6 o’clock arrives, the crowd is greeted with a steady stream of impassioned displays of art, emotion, and comedy. The performers pull out all the stops with rapid renditions of spoken word, sensuous and powerful song, and enrapturing pieces of flash fiction. From the words evoked by lovers who rewrite the lines between devotion and hate to the rapid renditions of powerful women on why they need feminism; from a personal memoir of 9/11 that pulls the crowd to the depths of tragedies normally ineffable and back to the words of sex, love, wisdom, and humor as a man writes to his sixteen-year-old self; all the spectrums are represented by the diverse group assembled at the University of North Georgia campus coffee shop.

     It is impossible to leave without sharing in the excitement and inspiration still charging the air once the short two hours have flown by and the doors are closing. Whether you came to speak, perform, or just listen, The Chestatee Review Open Mic Night in Oakwood, Georgia is an event that will linger until the next gathering of the amazing talent and support found there.

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