Open mic inspires bravery

Stephanie Osmanski

Literary enthusiasts gathered in the upper café last Friday to mark the second of the new bi-weekly series.

Tentatively named the Quinnipiac Writer’s Series, the event provided a relaxed, judgment-free atmosphere for aspiring writers, poets, musicians, performance artists, or anyone willing to express themselves in front of a microphone.

QU’s literary clubs Quixotic and Montage support the series.

“I’ve never really written poetry before, but I was inspired by the vibe of the series,” open-mic reader Colleen Nelson said. “Everyone was really welcoming and I didn’t feel like I was being judged as I got to the microphone and made myself vulnerable.”

Every other Friday night, the upstairs staff room is lit up with the sort of blasé ambience only the presence of poetry and literature can bring to a room.

Event highlights included the soul-bearing and storytelling of all things fictional and/or true, but also encompassed the offering of delicious organic refreshments and juice.

“I think the writer’s series is a great thing for Quinnipiac students,” spoken word comic Mike Lewis said.

Initiated by 30 minutes of open mic, the event offered an allotted time for impromptu performances. All guests were encouraged to sign up for the open mic upon arrival.

The series showcased two featured presenters, each given 30 minutes to convey their works.

This past week the featured presenters were seniors Colin Kuusisto and Mike Lewis.

Material throughout the night was varied and at times painfully hilarious–from solemn poetry to the fictional telling of sexual encounters to a faux presidential speech addressing “the important things.”

Kuusisto concluded his performance with a short childhood anecdote. Claiming that Mad Libs were a vital part of his past, he suggested the audience help him out as he improvised his own Mad Libs off the cuff.

At the suggestion of two overzealous audience members, Harry Potter became the story topic–which then subsequently touched upon pineapples, tadpoles, mall calendars, sad puppies, and tripping over clowns.

“Colin’s Mad Lib story was my favorite part,” sophomore Amanda Pacciotti said. “It was hilarious.”

Lewis took the stage next with his carefree yet commanding presence. He discussed his personal tribulations of mediocrity within the workforce, and comically suggested that all men who rank above a six on the attractiveness scale should be barred from owning a dog.

“You don’t get a lot of chances to showcase your talents, and it’s nice to have the opportunity,” Lewis said. “My hope is that one day it becomes so popular we have to take over Buckman Theater to accommodate the audience.”

Creative writing professor Ken Cormier fathers the series philosophically, yet vehemently maintains that the series is the students’ work.

“I’m extremely pleased with the attendance so far. And all of the writers and performers, features as well as open mic, have been fantastic!” Cormier said. “There are so many creative people here at Quinnipiac, and I am hoping that the Quinnipiac Writer’s Series will draw out more and more students who want to share their work with an audience.”

The next series will take place March 14, and will boast Quinnipiac’s slam poet Zach Connolly and voice-piece artist Reid Engwall.