Long Beach State University students bared their souls to a crowd of 50 at the first poetry lounge of the semester
Poet’s Lounge is an event offered three times a semester where anyone is free to come and speak their mind or say pretty much whatever they want.
Associated Students Inc.’s Poet’s Lounge provided an atmosphere where people could get together to share poems, stories and music in a friendly and accepting environment. Anyone was able to speak about any topic so long as it was not hate speech. With cookies and hot cocoa offered in the sunset lounge, the atmosphere was comforting and open.
“Some of the poems got my eyes watery,” said Tommie Williams, first time attendee. “I definitely will be coming back to the next one.”
The Poet’s Lounge event has a few unique guidelines that people adhere too. For example, if you see that someone is struggling to remember their lines or if they appear nervous, then the audience can rub their hands together as a motivator and symbol of encouragement. Another was snapping your fingers to show that you agree or appreciate something that someone said. All of these help to create the safe and comfortable atmosphere that makes the lounge such a great place to be.
People performing at the event were not limited to poetry. They also performed songs, spoken word and even rap.
The event started out with Joseph Amir performing a song on his acoustic guitar followed by Marlene Guerrero, a first time speaker. Autumn Maclyn shared her poem “A Lesson Learned” that was centered around life struggles, perspective and a reminder to love yourself.
Poet’s Lounge veteran George Flores started off by sharing his signature poem titled “Postpartum,” which talked about his life and how he became to be who he is. He later took the floor again to share a love poem that he wrote for someone where he talked about how his crush made him feel and the emotions she stirred in him. Flores’ relaxed demeanor coupled with the themes of his love poem had everyone on the edge their seats waiting for the next line while their hearts melted away.
After Flores spoke, Danny Shultz shared his poem “Antiquarium Books for Sale.” This poem had deep emotional roots as he spoke about how his dad disapproving of who he is.
Later that night, Ben Robbins came up to perform his own spoken word poetry. He said he did not expect to come up and speak, but he wanted to talk about how things are looking up for him since he switched his major from film to communications and share that positivity.
The next Poet’s Lounge will be March 21 at 8:00 p.m. in the Sunset Lounge located to the left of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.