Pleasanton Library holds its Open Mic Poetry Night

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Spencer Thiel

The open mic night was open to anyone who wanted to listen to or share their poetry.

On Thursday, October 20, the Open Mic Teen Poetry Night took place at the Pleasanton Public Library. The event gave a platform to teens looking to share personal and professionally written poetry.

“This open mic was something I have always wanted to try. And being a teen poem laureate has given me the opportunity to try it out and plan an event like this. I think it’s a really nice way of interacting with the community. And it encourages teens, especially middle schoolers, to get into poetry,” said event host Tho Nguyen (‘23). 

The event took place in the library meeting room, located on the building’s first right. Guests sat in rows of chairs facing a podium, where students then took turns reading their poems.

“I’ve been to an open mic night in the past. It was one from James Morehead, who’s the Dublin Laureate. Basically, everybody has turns saying their poems out to the audience. After they say the poem, the audience claps and you have the opportunity to talk about it sometimes”, said event participant Ishmeet Dhillon (‘24).

The event was organized and led by Amador Valley student Tho Nguyen (‘23). Tho was appointed as the Pleasanton teen poet laureate for 2022-23 by the Civics Arts and Library Commission Committee after a selection process based on her writing. 

“I think poetry is really nice for me. I am actually very bad with words— I’m bad with people’s names and everyday speech in general. But, I think poetry is how I can express myself better,” said Nguyen (‘23).

As teen laureate, Nguyen holds events like this to encourage the art of poetry among young people. What’s more, she also recently published her own book of poems, The Days We Drift, which she read from at the event. 

“I definitely think poetry is a way for students and teens, in general, to express themselves through words, through song, or descriptive language, I think it’s really important to have that as an outlet”, said Chelsea Blea, AV English Teacher.

 

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  • Ishmeet Dhillon (’24) was one of the many teens participating in the poetry event.

  • The library also displayed a selection of poetry books for event attendees to flip through.

  • Tho Nguyen (‘23), this year’s teen poetry laureate, read poems from the poetry book she recently published.