"They aren't paying me to perform on stage so what's the purpose?"

"All these open mic shows are the same. Same folks...same poems..."

"I'd love to come out and be surrounded by creativity. I just can't afford the cover charge and then pay for parking..."

"I'm not comfortable with sharing MY work so why even be there?"

"I just can't make the time to come out..."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now that all the excuses are out of the way, hello....I'm LadyVee DaPoet and I'm here to let you know that I completely understand.

I've been writing poetry since middle school, performing spoken word since highschool, and I've attended almost every Open Mic metro Atlanta has to offer. These thoughts went through my mind OFTEN. Let's explore some of these thoughts:

Open Mic opportunities are just that--opportunities to rehearse and build your creative skill as a spoken word performer or a poet who recites their work. Participating in Open Mic Shows are a way to build confidence because you are in front of an accepting and appreciative audience (your fellow Quality Poets Group!). Who knows? The more people that are blessed by your words, the more doors open. I thought it was a waste of time to get up on stage and perform 'free gigs'...until people started coming up to me offering paid opportunities at their shows because they watched me grow up on stage as an artist.
Also, each and every time you grace the stage, you have the unique opportunity to touch someone in the audience with your words. Your words may be the healing someone needs, the advice they were waiting to hear, or give them a laugh they haven't felt in months. Those moments are priceless!

I went out to Open Mics all the time and they all started to be the same old show over and over again. That was my inspiration to get up on stage myself and change the game. I incorporated music, props, whatever to my poems and I created a show that I would enjoy to be entertained by! Over the past few days, I've gotten emails from poets, singers, drummers, and storytellers from our poetry group responding to a Kwanzaa ad I sent out. My question to them is, " That's great! Have we met? You have a wonderful talent...why not grace the stage at SIP Coffeehouse too?" Our Open Mic celebrates poets of every experience level but we also welcome the stage to ALL the creative arts (singers, musicians, visual artists, etc.) We love to be surrounding by everything so bring it on!

SIP has no cover charge and free parking. If you can't get a ride, the Lindbergh MARTA lets out directly across the street. The donations we receive all go toward improving our group and keeping our events FREE so it benefits you if you're an active member (can't wait for the cool stuff in 2009..8-) It's like we're investing in ourselves.
We're recession proof, baby!

And lastly, I've informed a few members that our group is a Meetup group. We strongly believe in the motto "Give support and Get Support". If it's hard to make the time to foster your creativity by coming out and getting inspired and encouraged by artistic thinkers...maybe an "online only" poetry critique group would be better to join?

This message was not meant to discourage or offend anyone. I just had some thoughts on my mind to share. I truly have a passion for Quality Creative Expression and I'm excited about the continuation of making The Quality Poets Society the very best it can possibly be!

Who's with me? Who's with me?!

 
 

A few months or maybe even a few years ago, the "poetry scene" was a very cool, eclectic atmosphere. There was an ART and a craft about it. The people that gathered together were like an out-the-box, forward thinking, FAMILY with expansive imaginations and the courage to explore every aspect of the language. People not only read THEIR work but made sure they studied the poetry of the ancient greats: Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, etc. There was a pride in knowing that your poetry had meaning, depth, and could uplift and encourage others. There was also a sense that your words could stand as the turning point for someone in order to open their eyes to brand new ways of thinking that could lead to different directions, outcomes, and possibilities.

Today, however, the poetry scene has a brand new "capitalistic" state of mind. No one cares what you say, as long as you sing it and "walk it out" with a snappy, too loud beat drowning out all sense of meaning. Poetry for the sake of appreciation doesn't exist anymore because we need to compete against each other and find out "who's hot and who's not" for a cash prize. Venues don't value the poetry or the fact that their building is housing radical, amazing ideas--they just want to make sure everyone pays a cover charge when they walk in the door and buys overpriced appetizers and drinks.

Folks are slowly slipping out of the label of "true artist" or "true poet" to opt for the more famous term of "local celebrity" or "crowd favorite". I don't know about you, but I have heard EVERYTHING that the 10 or 12 "local celebrities" have to say. I've heard their same memorized poems over and over again and NOW it's time for something new.

There IS another level
There IS another level

People say all the time that this is the "new thing" and the "next level" of this and that but what I've noticed is they never mention QUALITY. If I'm going to step to another plateau of anything, the higher level is going to be one of SUBSTANCE. Substance can only be found when one is in a state of continual learning. Most "local poet celebrities" feel they have nothing LEFT to learn and that's why the poetry scene is suffering from monotony.

The AtL. Poetry Meetup Group has a mission to create, promote, and encourage QUALITY CREATIVE EXPRESSION. If you are a "true artist" or one who enjoys the passion of exploring and appreciating every aspect of the language, please continue your support.


Let's take the Poetry Scene BACK! It's TIME!!


 

    Author

    LadyVee DaPoet is a spoken word artist and published poet originally from Augusta, GA. She is known as "the poet with her own theme music" and her poetry performances include props, music, and the visual celebration of descriptive language.

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