Lift Every Voice: Piedmont Athens hosts open mic night


Staff Writer

Piedmont College Athens recently held an open mic night to provide students with the opportunity to express themselves in front of their peers. The theme for the night was “Celebrate Diversity, Celebrate Yourself!”

There was good food from many backgrounds for everyone to enjoy while students presented their works. Students were encouraged to share their art, poetry, music and anything else they wanted to contribute.

It was a quaint and comfortable environment for students to enjoy, and many felt confident enough to share their works.

Adam Arlt kicked off the night with an acoustic song about mitosis. Later on in the evening, he also performed a cover of the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. Arlt has been playing guitar since he was six and said he had fun performing at the event.

After Arlt’s performance, Shawanna Smith read her favorite poem, titled “We Wear The Mask” by Paul Laurence. Smith said, “[The poem] sends a message. It emphasizes equality and inspires readers to think about the reasoning behind their actions.”

Smith said that she is not comfortable with public speaking, yet she still shared. She said she was glad she did and felt relieved afterwards.

There were two short presentations by sisters Dulte and Jenny Vargas to display their diversity. Both sisters were born in Mexico and raised in Athens, and both are also criminal justice majors.

Feeling inspired by the performances, Cordel Garrett wrote a poem entitled “Who Am I” on the spot and read it for the audience in order to share his personal struggles and obstacles of facing diversity.

The most frequent performer of the night was Brandi Turpin, who read three of her own poems. With her poem “Broken Bust,” she incorporated a PowerPoint presentation in order to better illustrate the emotions of the poem. She also read her poems entitled “Existed” and “Women.”

When asked what inspired her to start writing poetry, Turpin replied, “I’ve been writing since I was 13 or 14 years old, but my high school English teacher is who inspired me.”

Surprisingly, this was only her second time sharing her poetry with an audience. She said she was nervous before presenting her poetry; however, she also said she was glad she shared and felt good afterwards.

Turpin said she uses her writing as an emotional outlet. She is currently editing fiction novels and is in the process of writing her own novel as well. 

The open mic night was a great opportunity for students to unify and share their works with the support of their peers.