Posted in Community, Culture

Open Mics in Coffee Shops

I am a Spoken Word artist. Writing has always been a part of who I am. I wrote my first short story in second grade, it was about a land of flying turtles. I’m pretty sure I modeled parts of it after Avatar: the Last Airbender.

In middle school, I had the gift of an amazing English teacher. She introduced our class to the workings of Langston Hughes. Before then, I had only known of Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. I wrote my first poem in seventh grade and published it on Wattpad immediately. Those were the days when Wattpad was really poppin’.

Freshman year of high school, I started hearing about this Spoken Word Poetry Club. I didn’t even know that was a thing. So I went to a meeting of these so-called poets and immediately fell in love. I started writing that same day so I could come back the next week with a piece. I was so scared to perform, even if it was just in front of ten classmates. But one day, I did.

I was sixteen when I performed at an Open Mic for the first time. I remember my heart racing, legs shaking, and the stutter I tried so hard to ignore. By then I had braces and a lisp. My hair was tied back in uneven twists. I didn’t know if any one would even like my poem.

So I performed. The cheers afterward were so loud, I couldn’t hear my heart racing anymore. The love and support pouring out from the crowd was tangible. That was the moment. That was when I knew this is what I wanted, no NEEDED, to do.

Then, I started college. I stopped performing for eight months. I tried doing things with my colleges One Mic organization, but it was never the same. Until…

This summer, I’ve revisited the Open Mics I loved so much in high school. Now, the coffee shop is so full that people have to stand in whatever space they can find. And, I love it.

Here’s a video of most of my performance. I had to upload it to YouTube since it wouldn’t go up directly. I’m still trying to figure out some of the tech side of blogging. The first few lines were cut off but I plan on posting more pieces like this in the future.

If you’re interested in seeing this place for yourself, the open mics happen every second and fourth Saturday at Common Grounds Coffee Bar in Downtown Lake Worth. Make sure to hit up our Hostest with the Mostest Jeanette Hickman Brown for more details.

Are you an artist?

Do you like to perform?

Where do you like to go for entertainment?

What did you think of my performance?

Let me know in the comments, let’s chat!


Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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