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In an era that often seems frantic and overwhelming, pausing to share thoughts and feelings carries immense weight. The semester’s first Poetry Night at Laughing Planet, presented by the Brushfire Literature and Arts Journal, showcased the beauty of this act, blending poetry, humor and connection to invigorate attendees with a sense of community.

The evening’s energy at Laughing Planet was palpable. Students from diverse academic backgrounds converged, some sharing their spoken word and others simply enjoying the performances. The microphone emerged as a vessel for raw emotions and narratives.

A memorable moment occurred when a restaurant staff member improvised a poem. His spontaneous and comedic lines had attendees laughing heartily, highlighting that Poetry Nights can be both profound and lighthearted.

For many, this event marked their inaugural venture onto a stage. The importance of such platforms, especially for students, cannot be overstated. In a digital age, Poetry Nights provide a tangible means of connection, helping students gain confidence and hone public speaking skills.

The atmosphere at Laughing Planet during the Poetry Night was nothing short of enchanting. It exuded a warm and cozy ambiance that enveloped everyone in attendance, making it a perfect haven for artistic souls and lovers of all things indie. The dimly lit room cast a soft, inviting glow, creating an intimate setting that felt like a well-kept secret, hidden away from the bustling world outside. The walls adorned with eclectic artwork and mismatched vintage furniture added to the charm, making it clear that this was a place where creativity thrived.

What made the atmosphere even more unique was the diverse crowd that had gathered. People from various walks of life, all bound by a shared love for artistic expression, mingled together. The room was filled with a sense of camaraderie, as strangers struck up conversations, exchanged stories and celebrated each other’s creative endeavors. It was a reminder that art has the power to bring people together, transcending barriers and differences.

The indie spirit of the evening was palpable. The clatter of the kitchen downstairs that could be heard softly in the background created an acoustic backdrop for the spoken word performances, adding an extra layer of depth to the experience. The hushed conversations, the clinking of  cups and the occasional burst of laughter all contributed to the vibrant tapestry of sounds that filled the space. It was the kind of place where you could feel completely at ease, where authenticity was encouraged and where everyone’s unique voice was welcomed and celebrated.

I also embraced the opportunity, reciting two personal poems: “The Cage” and “To All the Girls Whom You’ve Loved Before.” Sharing in a room of unfamiliar faces reinforced the inherent power of words to resonate, inspire and bridge divides.

Sharing my poems at the Poetry Night was a rollercoaster of emotions, a thrilling and nerve-wracking experience that left me feeling both vulnerable and empowered. As I approached the microphone, my heart pounded in my chest and my palms grew sweaty. The silence in the room seemed to amplify and I could feel the eyes of the audience on me. It was a moment of raw exposure, a feeling akin to standing on the edge of a precipice and daring to leap into the unknown. 

But as I began to recite my first poem, “The Cage,” something incredible happened. The words I had carefully crafted and held close to my heart took on a new life as they left my lips. It was as if I had breathed life into them and they resonated with a power I had never imagined. 

The audience’s faces transformed from passive listeners to engaged participants, hanging on to every word. The energy in the room shifted from anticipation to connection and in that moment, I felt a profound sense of unity with those around me. It was scary, yes, but it was also undeniably invigorating.

The Poetry Night was more than an event — it celebrated our shared human journey. It underscored the rich talent within our community and the healing power of both laughter and tears. Providing platforms for self-expression is critical, particularly for students deciphering life’s intricacies and defining their voices. The open mic sessions will continue on the first Tuesday of the month at Laughing Planet.

In this cozy and artistic haven, the Poetry Night at Laughing Planet truly came to life. It was a reminder that even in a world that sometimes feels impersonal and disconnected, there are still places where the human spirit can flourish, where creativity knows no bounds and where individuality is not only embraced but cherished. It was a testament to the power of community, art and the magic that can happen when you bring them together in a space that is, simply put, super neat.

In times marked by division, events like this highlight the universal human need for expression and connection. 

Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Emily Hess is a student at the University of Nevada studying journalism. She can be reached at gkanae@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.

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