Mike the Poet Hosts Open Mic Session at LAHC, Inspiring Students to Share Their Culture

by Nadia Villanueva

From: Harbor Tides


Culture week was expressed in a different kind of way, when poet and teacher Mike Sonksen, a.k.a. Mike the Poet, visited LAHC. On May 12, the quad area of the cafeteria was set up with a microphone and some chairs for the audience, and with the encouragement of host Sonksen telling students to go up and read poetry, a small version of an open mic night began.

Sonksen began the event with some of his own poetry. “This is the 562” was a poem that spoke of appreciation for Long Beach, the city he grew up in, where he praised the many characteristics and people that made Long Beach the city it is.

“We Need Water,” a poem about the drought California has been experiencing came next. He closed his performance with “A Poem for College Freshman,” which spoke to all the college students in the audience who have experienced the fear, excitement and confusion associated with being a freshman.

Next came LAHC professor Christian Lozada, who shared poems of his own family and culture, in particular, his father, stating that “nothing says love like a cold fried baloney sandwich with warm mayonnaise.”

One by one, students took to the stage to share poetry that expressed their own life and the characteristics that make them who they are. Some chose a more comedic route, such as the poem in which the good old microwave was praised for always being there for us in desperate times, expressed as “every college student’s savior.”

While funny was an option, students for the most part, stuck to expressing themselves and their lives – the very aspects that make them who they are.

Student Marlene Lopez performed a poem about her daily life as a hairdresser, while another student Kat Ashe spoke of a girl she knew who just wants to be loved. Another student, Liberty Cohen, expressed her love for her little brother who was not so little anymore.

Health professor Leslie Trujillo even chose to express her own form of poetry, poetry of the body – or stretching, going as far as adding her own little rhymed lines like “squeeze it tight with all your might.” Read Rest of Article Here


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