On December 7th, 2015 my friend and I went to the Bowery’s Premier Poetry Night (at the Bowery Poetry Club). It was quite the experience. Allow me to elaborate:

Prior to this experience, my knowledge of open mic poetry readings was limited to this one episode of The Proud Family and my high school’s poetry night (which featured administration approved poems and prose). Basically, I knew nothing.

The Facebook event page said 34 people were going and an additional 84 were interested, yet when we walked in there was a total of ten other people in the room. I was the youngest.

Immediately the announcer asked for more people to sign up for the open-mic. He motioned his clipboard towards me but I shook my head no. I needed to understand the nature of open mic poetry before I could even consider taking the stage.

Anyways, my experience was eye-opening. The group of poets was very diverse in regards to race, ethnicity, and age. Most of the poems read focused on society, family, sexuality and sex. I was startled to say the least. Still, I can’t deny the beauty of the art form. It was so raw and candid. Even if I didn’t like a certain poem, I still appreciated the poet’s performance abilities. It takes a lot to speak personal words in front of strangers, (though not as much as it takes to speak personal words in front of those close to you). I half-expected to hear snapping fingers at the end of each performance but, there were only clapping hands.

In conclusion, I have to say the experience was entirely worth it. Now I when I think of poetry I don’t just consider the profound words of the great poets. Instead, I see poetry as a beautiful outlet for everyday people like myself. I will be back at the Bowery Poetry Club. Perhaps next time I’ll read one of my own poems. 🙂