Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00
This month we have a Special Host, LJ Ratliff!
Here is a poem she wrote inspired by Poetry in the Brew:
Coffee and Community
The night was poetry
Brewed up strong and dark,
mellow and light,
lovers and painters and
one reluctant fighter.
One by one,
different vowels and consonants
took the mic and used it like a sharp needle
stitching words beside the full cup, cream and sugar anticipation.
Bejeweled words that glowed for long moments,
then faded into
the denim of old jeans, soft and comfortable
as new words in iron on patches sizzled into place.
All the voices are different
and all the voices are the same.
James Floyd, Diallo, Patricia, and Tiana,
Susan, and Jamie and Chance,
Butterfly and Chaos,
Walker and Sean,
Map, Rebecca, Vol, and so many more.
young and down the path of years.
Young and old,
urban and rural,
cowboy and grandmother,
gay and straight,
book smarts and street wisdom,
beautiful skin tones and
people of colorful language.
The night is a poem stitched into an heirloom patchwork quilt,
oddly beautiful and irreplaceable.
The stories enter the fabric and curl up inside each stitch
while the coffee grinder buzzes below in eclectic harmony.
Hemp and silk, rhinestones and old leather,
meet in listening’s patient weaving.
Roomful of seers on caffeine
Creating the new world
in one little coffee house
in one little village
in one little city
in one little world.
Coffee and Community.
What a stitch!
The best poems are brewed this way.
By LJ Ratliff
Dana Malone is our Featured Poet in August.
Dana Malone is a writer, writing coach, speaker and performance artist who has lived in Nashville long enough to call it her hometown. She is a former professor at Tennessee State University and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. She has written extensively on the work of confessional poet Anne Sexton, whose work has influenced her. (Other favorite writers include Sonia Sanchez, Adrienne Rich, Silas House and Robert Morgan.) Dana is a member of the Appalachian Writers Workshop and has studied under Gwendolyn Brooks, Al Young, and Lisel Mueller (Pulitzer Prize, 1997). Although she has read/performed poetry here and abroad, Dana credits Nashville’s long-running Windows on the Cumberland for getting her started . . . and for venues like Poetry in the Brew that continue in the Windows spirit. Her current project, “I belong to the band”, pays tribute to the work of The Band, an Americana/rock music group, while addressing universal and autobiographical themes.