Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Mic and Dim Lights 10 year Anniversary


While most poetry venues only last a few months, Pomona’s A Mic and Dim Lights has been up and going every Thursday night for the past ten years. A decade! When asked the reason for such longevity, Dim Lights host and co-founder Cory Besskepp Cofer said: “We embrace all poets and all poetry. This brings variety, it brings passion and connection, and it makes for really good poetry!”

That variety is reflected by age (teens to seniors), subject matter (revolution to romance, religion to road rage, politics to porn), language (English, Spanish, Tagalog, Nahuatl), and the participation of every color and creed. Poets may sometimes be accompanied by electric guitar, jazz trumpet, or a choir.

There may be a poet reading a brand new poem from a cell phone or a highly rehearsed piece performed without a net. At A Mic and Dim Lights you will see poets getting up for the first time in their lives one week and a world famous poet/author like Luis Rodriguez the next. There are theme nights such as Ladies Night, Napkin Poetry Night, Hip-Hop Verse Night, and Erotic Night, not to mention a series of youth poetry slam competitions leading up to the National Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Competition. Dim Lights is an affiliate of the Council of Venues, a Southern California spoken word network with the motto “Getting more people heard by more people.” Besskepp explains why: “We are all about the word, wherever it comes from. Let’s grow together!”

As this new 21st century began, an explosive growth of poetry was underway so the establishment of A Mic and Dim Lights in the new millennium was no accident. James Brady and Cofer frequented poetry venues in Los Angeles, Orange County and as far as San Diego. “We decided to create something in the Inland Empire’s Pomona Arts Colony so people could have a safe place to express themselves through poetry”, says Brady, who is the co-founder and DJ of Dim Lights. Dim Lights has helped to keep that poetic explosion going, giving thousands of poets the enthusiastic embrace that it is so well known for. In celebration of the word, there will be a special anniversary show at Dim Lights on October 7. Poets and musicians from the past ten years will bless the Dim Lights stage with poetry and music both old and new.

A Mic and Dim LightsCal Poly Center Theater300 Second AvenuePomona CAThursday, October 7 9 PM $3 Besskepp is available for interviews at 626-367-2658 Besides being the host and founder of Dim Lights, Besskepp is a teacher (Nogales High School, with one of the largest high school poetry clubs in California), an author (Up the Street Around the Corner), playwright (Homeless Beatboxer), and spoken word/hip-hop recording artist (Bluz Langwij and The Hey Moment).


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