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A Poetic Affair

By Jovan Figueroa

The nonprofit organization Art Defined Inc hosted a Poetic Affair open mic on the Lehman Campus October 18. The lights were dimmed low and music was playing as if the setting was in a poetry lounge instead of a college theater. The range of performances were versatile with genres including poetry, rap, singing, screenplay and acting.

Host Rq Tek was very personable and comical as opened up with a rap performance which set the tone for the following performers. Rq Tek is a multitalented artist who made audience members laugh before he seamlessly transitioned into his rap performances.

The open mic went from 8pm-10pm. There was water, donuts, and candy available for attendees as well as Art Defined Inc merchandise for sale.

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The feature performer Ephraim Nehemiah is a phenomenal poetry artist who was selling his published books after reciting his poems. He published his first full length poetry book, The Autobiography of Absence, in 2021 with Twelve Arts Press. His poetry centers around the African American experience as well as homelessness, and poverty. Nehemiah candidly spoke about his life experiences and inspiration behind writing some of his most profound poems saying that it was easier for him to write serious poems that centered around sad topics. Nehemiah has showcased his work with TEDx Talks, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Basketball Association to name a few.

The open mic opened and closed with performances from regulars and returning artists Danny Love and Miranji.
Another poet Hot Chocolate Poetry opened his set reciting a poem about unseasoned chicken, which not only caught audience members by surprise but also provoked a good laugh. “There are several ways a piece of chicken can become nourishment,” said Hot Chocolate Poetry. “If you massage it with salt, pepper and garlic and call that seasoning and throw it on to a pan it will become roasted, grilled no matter how bland it is but it is still chicken.”

If you want to attend the next Poetic Affair open mic and you are a Lehman College student than stayed tune for the campus emails. According to the founder of Art Defined Inc, the Poetic Affair open mic will be held on Lehman Campus on a monthly basis. You can also follow Art Defined Inc on Instagram for open mic dates at Lehman College and other events the nonprofit organization may be having around the city.

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