The connected rooms of room 224 and 228 were nearly filled to capacity as students, faculty and guests of FC ate sweets and drank coffee while they listened to original poetry, prose and more on Wednesday, Nov. 16 for the fall edition of LiveWire’s biannual Open Mic Night.
The event, which is held biannually, invites students, faculty and members of the Fullerton community to read and listen to the creative voices that the campus has to offer.
The event was hosted by Kim Roxas, LiveWire’s editor-in-chief, and Michael Schulze, a FC English professor. Both hosts introduced the writers to the audience as they took to the podium.
“We’re dedicated to cultivating a space for people to be creative and have a platform to share their artwork and especially foster the skills and talents that they have,” Roxas said. “We’ve been working with some really talented writers and we’re eager of them to share their work.”
“A lot of times when I tell people about an open mic event or a poetry reading of some kind, I kind of see this look in their face and it kind of looks like they are picturing this dark smoke room where everybody is kind of somber,” Schulze said, “Looking around it’s kind of a dim room, I guess, but at least there’s no smoke.”
The first reader of the night was John Orr, who is an an English professor on campus. He read a lively short story written by his daughter which received many laughs and a great applause from the audience.
Orr explained that his daughter couldn’t make it to the event because she is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at Mills College in Oakland.
Other writers featured at the Open Mic Night were students Cassandra Hsiao and Ivan Panuco.
“I’m very drawn by visual images,” Hsiao said about her poem “Whale Bone”, which she read to the audience that night. “For me, I wanted to look at things from a different perspective. For that one, I chose to look through the eyes of literary what is being smuggled.”
Panuco first shared his creativity at the open mic last year and has showed up every semester since. This year, he dedicated his poem that he read to LiveWire’s faculty advisor Ryan Shiroma.
“I fell in love with this place because of the whole community here and the great feedback I get from all of the writing I have been doing.” Panuco said. “I never really shared anything nor have I written or been to an open mic before [last year], and it keeps me coming back.”
Those that read on the podium wrote about topics ranging from haikus about Star Wars to poems about the current incidents of police brutality that have been occurring across the nation.
Some students took to the mic because their English professors offered extra credit to them if they read at the event.
The next LiveWire Open Mic Night will take place during spring 2017.