Author Archives: poetryinthebrew

OCTOBER 12, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

October’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

October Feature Shawn Renee

Shawn Renee is a fledgling in the poetry community but you’d never guess she hasn’t always shaped the wind around her wings and soared. Born in Haun Germany on an airforce base, she quickly returned to the states before the age of one and has breathed Tennessee air ever since. She enjoys art in all forms, from sketching to painting and sculpting; but words have always been the ink flowing through her paper veins.

When asked where her love of writing stems from, Shawn states:

“I don’t think I can specifically pinpoint a time or a person. I think words have always lived in me. Pretty sure I was scribbling on my mother’s egg with my tail as a sperm in her womb. Words and all other forms of creative expression are the only things that make sense in this backward world. It was the only way I could make sense of it. The only way I could be seen and heard. All other times I was expected to be nothing more than a closed mouth and a pair of ears.”

Shawn can be reached and enjoyed on her newly created but promising pages and sites. She truly hopes you’ll pay her a visit.

Sample a poem from Shawn here, then find her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and her blog.

Before They Valued My Silence

What do you remember from your birth, he asks

Words, I say

Because I remember…
being a face full of ink blinks
and a body of wiggling calligraphy 
my skin pale parchment
soggy and crumpled
but still scribbling screams 
from fragile lungs

I remember 
being words

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

September’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

September Feature El

El is a former Army brat who moved from Tacoma, Washington, to Nashville, Tennessee, 19 years ago. Her love for words came from her mother who had been creating poetry to accompany El on her life lessons. She reached for the pen as self-expression and uses her writing to solve problems that find their solutions throughout the course of the story. 

She began dedicating more and more time writing and has officially begun a site called Rainbow Minds. Whether there is a poem on the mind or a story of another that has to be heard, there will always be a home for every form of writing to be shared.

September’s feature poet El

Surviving My Memoirs 

I’m not scared of my last day, why? I survived

A mother who beat her insecurities into me, a “friend” who didn’t hear the word no and tried to make this body his own, a father who never wanted his heart to be my home, a dad who was surprised by the color of my skin, recognizing this bastard child did not share his blood and was deemed to feel forever alone

Surviving each “you’re stupid” “you need makeup” “what are you wearing”, you only get to see what I choose to show

Did I show the mark on my arm from the shattered frame holding baby me, was completely shocked by the pain but was happy to bleed?

How about the lines on my hips, making me a woman before I was ever ready?

No, because you only care about the color of lipstick and when I was dumb enough to not to hide when I cried

You took a part of her, but it’s okay

Today’s the day these purposeful lips say fuck you while loving me

When I’m gone, release my poems

Show them I’ve been through hell but froze it over and made it back

Smudged to perfection, doing things even when I’m not good enough

Not good enough

An epidemic my DNA is wearing to disguise who she really is

I’ve enough of not good enough

She’s a later bloomer just trying to find her spring

I won’t stand for your victim shaming just like I won’t stand for my victimizing

Because these contemporary moving atoms survived

So, fuck you, I love how her feet control the snare of her marching band

This epidermis is epically exemplary

Her hair horrifyingly heavenly harmoniously hers

A monarch metamorphosed miraculously

These curls, Mine

Sunken eyes, Mine

Rubbing thighs, Mine

Double chin line, Mine

You may have won the battle, but through the war I will survive

AUGUST 10, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

August’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

August Feature Via Perez

Via was raised in the hills of Tennessee, and originally used writing as an outlet for the frustrations of youth. As time passed it formed into a way of life. She has lived a lot of places and worked many occupations, but for Via poetry remains a constant. It’s a way to translate the human experience, which can so often be tangled in the day to day. Her work is cryptic and can be interpreted in any way you please. Just let the words be absorbed.

This is the first piece Via read aloud in 12 years and also the first piece she read at Poetry in the Brew.

Self Portrait 1

Shades of silver glinting off the open pool.
All that has passed can be wrapped on a spool, most likely by the fool in the flower pattern.

That was once the marking of your soul.All the love I ever had. 
So grand.So full.Apologies.None I could spare for you.
How truly wise you have become.
Almost as wise as a child.With somber Solene eyes.She smiles because she is wild.You stumble because you simply cannot jump, perhaps if I tug.
The way your hand lies so limp on the crumpled sheet. 
I can almost take an interest in you.
As for your tears; they have no affect on me.
You can cry and cry out for as long as you wish.
When you are done I will still be here. 
Willing and golden.If you plan to cancel all your other plans. 
What remains will be tender words rendered by a beautiful mouth such as yours.

With a laugh and a smile.
A push and purge.
A cat and a hard wood floor.
A creak in the hall.
A sound in the breeze.
A linear motion out of old forgotten weeds.
A famous artist with hair streaming quite as black as yours.
You will remember me as I planned all along. 
Finally you may have permission to be plain and adored.

-ViaP

We’ll look for you come the 2nd Saturday, and till then, you can read more of Via’s older work at Ophelia Zerep – poet at allpoetry.

JULY 13, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

July’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round. Our feature for this month’s 8th Anniversary show is travelling poet Ananda Lima, who takes the stage around 7pm.

July Feature Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima’s work has appeared or is upcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poets.org, The Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, Rattle, The Common and elsewhere. Her chapbook Translation (Paper Nautilus, 2019) won the 2018 Vella Chapbook Contest. She served as the poetry judge for the 2019 AWP Kurt Brown Prize. She has an MA in Linguistics (UCLA) and an MFA in Fiction (Rutgers-Newark). She has taught at UCLA, Montclair State University, Rutgers University and was a mentor in the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Program – Newark and the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.  

Connect with Ananda on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Find samples of Ananda’s poetry on her website, as well as at the links above, and visit Rattle once more to read When They Come for Us on the 7 Train.

JUNE 8, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

June’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

June Feature Serge Ray Rodrigo

In June, our featured poet is Serge Ray Rodrigo, a multi-talented writer, storyteller, and poet. We unveiled a new format last month, created with community input, and each open mic reader will have a turn to read one poem before our feature again this month. Anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign up list may have another turn in the second round.

“I was born Sergio Ramon Rodriguez. Then, the world started calling me ‘Serge.’ Eventually, I turned that into ‘Serge Ray Rodrigo’ until I decided that I needed an alternate pen name. So ‘Sir-Reyna Lucio’ was born. These are the names that make us who we are. And this is the story of our lives connecting with their lives.”

Silver Water is the first novel by Sir-Reyna Lucio. “Abel tragically lost his disabled, niece, Rachelia. He longs to open a school and home for disabled youngsters in her memory. However, before he can achieve this dream, he must bring ‘The Kraken’ to some type of controlled end. ‘The Kraken’ is a seemingly mindless Godzilla-Moby Dick creature, floating around our not-too-distance world. No one knows where it came from, or why it’s here. But to attain ‘Silver Water,’ Abel must team with Samera (and others) to bring ‘The Kraken’ to ‘The Science Prophet,’ by any means necessary? Who is ‘The Science Prophet’ and what do they want with the ‘The Kraken?’ Abel, Samera, and their fellowship fight to find out. ‘Silver Water’ is our deepest, darkest, most complex dreams…come to beautiful life.”

You can hear a story from Serge on Versify #3: Bone Deep. “Serge Rodriguez hasn’t seen his family in years. He was excommunicated by their church and grew apart from his parents and siblings. But now as a writer in Nashville, his little sister is never far from his mind. Without warning, she troubles his thoughts and finds her way into everything he puts on paper. In this episode, we find out how family rejection has actually helped Serge to better understand unconditional love. And then Nashville poet Ciona Rouse turns Serge’s story into an original poem.”

The Untold Story of Omari Boyd is a forthcoming documentary by Sergio Ramon Rodriguez, Monique Gooch, and Fredrick Hayes. “This epic film will be based on the life and untold story of a professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter who is a well know figure in other regions of the world, but born and raised in a thriving city of gentrification, massive growth, development, and reconstruction, where the odds are against most that strive to succeed, within one of the newest city attractions of the world.”

We look forward to seeing you on June 8 for an evening of poetry in the loft!

MAY 11, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

May’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

May Feature Destiny Birdsong

Dr. Destiny Birdsong

photo credit: Hunter Armistead

Destiny O. Birdsong is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in African American ReviewThe Adroit JournalBest New Poets 2018The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, storySouth, Guernica, and elsewhere. Destiny has won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Poetry Contest, Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry, and Crab Orchard Review’s 2019 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize. She has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Pink Door, The Ragdale Foundation, and the Tin House Summer Workshop. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, where she currently works as a research coordinator.

Read Destiny’s poem “Auto-Immune” in Guernica, and head over to Rattle where “Long Division” appears.

APRIL 13, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

April’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

April Feature Leslie Garcia

LeslieGarcia

Leslie Garcia is a Salvadorian-American poet who hopes to teach others how to use writing as a form of rehabilitation. For the past three years she has worked as a poet mentor at Southern Word, a non-profit that puts writers into schools. Southern Word’s mission is to teach literacy through the performing arts. Her work has been featured in NATIVE magazine and the Nashville Arts Magazine.

Find Leslie Garcia on Instagram.

See Leslie’s spoken word performance from TEDxNashville:

MARCH 9, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

March’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

March Feature Cassidy Martin

Cassidy MartinCassidy Martin was raised all over Nashville. She has been writing since she was 12 and has had her nose stuck in a book all her life. She works at the Nashville Public Library and considers downtown her home. She attends Trevecca Nazarene University pursuing a degree in Communications but is open to other ideas. She likes creating visual and verbal art, but she only sings in the shower. With a mixture of natural leadership, religious optimism, heavy satire, and genuine sincerity, she lives life by pushing through the cracks of the sidewalk with open petals. She hopes to water her fellow humans with liquid courage and life experiences disguised as poetry.

A willingness to engage with topics of any nature, whether graphic, explicit, or simply human, characterizes Cassidy’s potent writing. The following poem of hers may touch sensitive areas, where poetry can do true work.

A Poem of Things I Need to Hear

You don’t have to know how to go about the rest of your life
You don’t need to stress about eating day old pizza at 11 pm
Your mom loves you
You need to stop worrying about what time you go to bed
You’re not gaining weight
You still look great even with purple very permanent hair dye you decided to try the day after christmas
It’s okay to cry for 10 minutes about absolutely everything and absolutely nothing at the same time.
You don’t have to rush yourself in the morning so brush your teeth for however long you want
Your mom still loves you
It’s okay for your vagina to have off days
And really really on days
at the same time
It’s okay if you don’t brush your hair everyday
It’s okay if you forget to brush your teeth
It okay if you have an anxiety attack because you didn’t finish a movie all the way through and you thought about it all day the next and then finished right where you left off
It’s not okay to not eat
It is okay if you happen to overeat
But not anymore because that’s why you threw up 6 times the next day after 6 years of never throwing up
It’s okay if your bookshelf gets dusty
It’s okay if your phone dies while you’re using it to listen to music in the shower
It’s okay to not want to talk
Or write
Or think
Or be awake
It’s okay to not be okay
It’s okay if no one likes you
And yes
Your mom still really really loves you.

Find Cassidy Martin on Facebook and Instagram.
See Cassidy’s State of the Word performance from her time as Nashville Youth Poet Laureate:

FEBRUARY 9, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

February’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

February Feature Dominique Substance Hayes

d67acc5a-92cf-4ee5-9688-dc30435493e1Dominique, better known as Substance, fell in love with creating short poems and quotes at the age of 8. She has explored many writing forms but finds comfort in poetry with no genre or label. You’ll find that her poetry carries the energy and soul of a divine experience. Her mission is to embody the message flowing from her heart in hopes that it will resonate with another’s. Poetry introduced her to the Divine that resides within. Her poetry can be defined as a strong wind or ocean waves gently returning home to shore.

Substance has had the pleasure of performing her pieces at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., Poetry in Motion, and the African Street Festival. Her most recent share, at Vanderbilt Divinity School with NATIVe: We the Hidden People, brought forth her own truths in the piece “SPEAK,” as she painted vivid pictures of her journey from silence. Although her artistry began at 8, at 29 years young, she is journeying through self-love, self-discovery, and healing with poetry, visual art, and photography as her MAP.

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Substance defined: A Goddess who is—
Substantially Using Both Sides of her Temporals while Adjusting into New Celestial Elevation—vibrating higher.

“Let my words paint vivid pictures, explore uncharted feelings, and tug you toward your mission.”

+Substance  ©2019

 

JANUARY 12, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

January’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

January Feature Owen Flanagan

OwenFlanagan

 

Born in San Francisco and raised in Nashville, Owen Flanagan has received a scholarship to the Sewanee Young Writers Conference and is a member of the youth cohort of the Year at OZ program with The Porch and OZ Arts. He is currently at work on a debut collection of poems and a novel.

Read this new piece from Owen now, then meet us in the loft for the first Brew of 2019:


night of

Me and my father, a concert. A singer

In a white dress punctures eyes on fire

And lets leak their kerosene onto the floor

Of a stadium suspended in frenetic gold lights,

Billowing song. Real song. And from the stage

Greased with feet and their emptied amazement,

A singer in a white dress leans into a microphone

And tells her audience to hold hands

For this next one. Me and my father, I deign us

Always grammatically correct. We cannot be

Expunged from the unremarkable history

No one ever thought to write. Me and my father,

His balled fist refusing to be summited,

This ballad, writing its lyrics on every forehead,

Decidedly not for us. The night of October the third,

A month of shimmering nothing. What use

Is night of? If it’s this untidy curl into a poem,

Into undoing, wouldn’t night already be implied,

No need for disquieted lips? What use anyway,

I can’t remember what day it really was.  When he came back,

when we hurtled enough days into each other to make an inside joke,

When we started going to major life events

And not needing to make an acronym, a mneumonic device.

To remember. What use anyway, what is this yawp

You already knew?

We drove home and I didn’t forget. I didn’t have to.

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