Category Archives: Uncategorized


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’, 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’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’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’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


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’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’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.


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’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



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.


December’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

December Feature Frank “Frizzy” Sykes

IMG-6497I was born in Nashville, and raised in Columbia, Tennessee. I became inspired to write from the many things in life. Seeing environments that were just not right, I decided to use spoken words to send messages to change not only the environments, but people’s lives. I’ve been performing the art form known best as Spoken Word since 2015.

So let me introduce myself to you. I’m a country boy from Columbia, currently 34, who through my journey in life have seen and been through a lot of things. I’m no different from the next person, but I’ve decided to take this approach and put myself out there in effort to reach those who feel that they are going through this journey in life alone. Those who have gotten frustrated with, what I consider to be life’s happening, and can’t seem to find the answers to the question that they keep asking themselves. (Why?)

I’ve had an exposure to some things that have taught me valuable lessons, and have decided to take the time to share with you and anyone else who will take the time to listen and learn from my journeys.

When you look deep into my past you will get to see how a young boy at a very young age had to grow up fast as he faced things in his environment that pressured his growth. You will see the tragic loss of a beloved father as this young man was 13 years of age. You will learn the journey of an athlete who excelled both on and off of the field. You will see the mental struggles that he faced and challenges that came as he grew. You will see his accomplishments as a actor in plays through his high school years. You will see his stories in college and his decision to drop out and start working. You will understand his job choices as he struggled to survive in a growing economy. You will see how the last 11 years of his life in law enforcement has placed him in multiple environments and allowed him to see things from more than just his perspective. You will understand how this man that you now see in front of you has the compassion and drive to make a difference for the better of all men and women, and just maybe one day, you will get to hear him perform it through his written pieces of poetry in the form of spoken words.

With all this being said,…. Hi! I’m Frank “Frizzy” Sykes the Spoken Word Artist. It’s nice to meet you!

Watch Frizzy perform a poem he wrote during his time as a Deputy Sheriff:

Keep up with Frank “Frizzy” Sykes on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.


November’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

No-Feature November

This election month we’re hosting a No-Feature November because every voice counts.  Early sign-up is open online. Email your first three choices of odd-numbered spots to We will reply with a confirmation of your spot on the list. Even-numbered spots will open for sign-up at 5:30pm on Saturday.

Update: odd numbers 21 and under spoken for so far

Poetry in the Brew, October 2018

our beautiful community gathering before last month’s show


October’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

October Feature Andrew Dillon

ADillon_HiRes_Colin_PottsAndrew P. Dillon earned his BA from the University of Tennessee, and later graduated in their inaugural MFA class. He was awarded a scholarship to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts workshop in Auvillar, France, and has been nominated for the Best New Poets anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His work is forthcoming or has appeared most recently in Analog Science Fiction and Science FactStirring: A Literary CollectionConnotation PressRivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks, and Public Pool.

He taught for a few years, but now works in healthcare in Nashville while completing his first collection, currently titled Captain for Dark Mornings (after a track on his favorite Laura Nyro album). He is tragically committed to the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, and Tennessee Vols. He strongly supports the use of semi-colons, em dashes, and the serial comma.


In defining love, every poet becomes a synesthete—
trying to explain why the letter A is red, or rattle
tastes oaky, trying to order the unfiltered mind:
you orbit the dense, central bridge of my mind the way
twelve numbers every hundred form a chronometric solar system.
I cannot visit my friends’ newborn because baby powder
sounds like a man and woman searching for catharsis
in each other’s mouths. I love you as surely as
twenty-two is closer to my heart than fifteen,
and September is more trustworthy than June.
When I taste Korean food, I lose the ability to distinguish
my mouth from my ears, my throat, my navel—
the awareness of my limbs as distinct and specialized.
Or maybe it can be expressed as simply as this—
when I said time with you feels like two galaxies
recklessly merging their satellites and stars, I meant
I’m already torn from the orbit that anchored me.

Keep up with Andrew Dillon on Twitter: @DillonAndrewP