Shippensburg University’s McFeely’s Cafe served as a place for poetry readings on Sept. 30 for Open Mic Night. Led by SU English professor Nicole Santalucia, Open Mic Night was an event at which all poets were welcomed.
Santalucia kicked the night off with a reading of “Pennsylvania on Fire.” She warmed up the crowd and then started calling names from the sign-up sheet.
Nicole Potts opened with her two poems, followed by Em Bush with her poem, “How the U.S. Forgot Its History.”
Luke Hershey, public relations chair of The Reflector, dusted off his old notebook and read some of his past thoughts from when he was 10 years old.
Hershey’s repertoire included: “God’s Not Dead,” “I Love you Jesus,” and “Murder and Death.” He claims he is not a poet, but his composition says otherwise.
Hershey said that he enjoyed the night because he grew up in Shippensburg, which was devoid of art, but the Open Mic Night showed that the campus is full of art. He also encouraged the audience to submit to The Reflector, which encourages written and drawn art.
After intermission, it was English major Maddison Mummert’s time to speak. She grew up in a wealthy household and people believed she was stuck up, so she wrote about it and performed at Open Mic Night.
Mummert believes that one should get to know someone’s character before making assumptions.
“You can’t know someone’s story just by looking at their face,” Mummert said.
She doesn’t usually title her poems, but if she did, she would name it, “You See Me.”
Anna D’Orazio, editor-in-chief of The Reflector, read “Wendy’s on Buckwalter Road,” where she gives a brief description of her working experience at Wendy’s. She believes that anyone can relate to it because it is about human understanding.
“That’s what makes art so cool because it’s always that unified experience that people can relate to,” D’Orazio said.
Communication/Journalism major Marissa Wright came in with hopes to get extra credit for her First-Year Seminar class from Santalucia. When she initially came, she was a little nervous, but once she finished her poem, she was relieved and happy that she got to perform and to receive the extra credit.
Dontae Harris, an SU junior, originally tagged along in support of his friend L.S.D. who performed, “Diary of a Mixed Black Woman.” Once he heard that anyone could sign up, he put his name on the list. He performed his interactive poem “It” where he asked us to listen to his words and figure out what “it” is.
Once he started speaking, he dominated the room by walking around McFeely’s and interacting with his audience. His voice encaptivated the crowd while he talked about his past experiences through his cypher.
He says he enjoyed it because he was able to perform and promote his fashion show that is coming up on Nov. 2.
“I was able to have people see me under a different light,” Harris said.
Harris also explained that he memorizes all of his raps by walking and talking, “I have the best conversations with myself. I don’t like to look at my phone… it’s more authentic when I don’t.”
At the end of the night, the 18 poets had shown their creative side. There was no seat left untouched, poem unread and most of the refreshments were gone by intermission.