Photos and story by Martin Chang

On August 7th, many poets performed to a full room at the open mic at Dagneys.  Above, a sampling of poets are pictured, below a little bit about each of them is explained.

Ebone King read her poetry about relationships. A mother of one, she calls her poetry “my art, my life, my feelings.” At first she didn’t know she was writing poetry. “It started out as me just writing down the things that I had been through, the things that I have seen.  Then someone picked up a letter and said, “this is a poem” and I said no it’s just me writing my thoughts,” she said.

She discovered these writing didn’t take a lot to become poetry.

She said, “I threw in a word here and there and suddenly it was a story.”

King calls her writing a “coping skill.” “Sometimes there’s an inability to express yourself, but nobody listens better than pen and paper.”

Another poet who read that night, Carley Tolomei, gets a similar catharsis from her writing. “Nobody understands me like I understand myself, I’m my own therapist. I didn’t know how to portray the emotions that I was feeling to other people. I really wanted that, I was wringing my hair out. When I started doing poetry, it helped me to do that.” Tolomei’s poetry also started out as just writing in her journal.

Kai Chu read a poem by Lao-tzu, an ancient Chinese sage.  He has a passion for Chinese language and culture. He read the poem in order to share with the young people “a different kind of poetry.”

Benjamin Dunham graduated in  political science at Colorado Mesa University. He calls his poetry a “maelstrom in the mind that I cannot escape.”