Tafel headlines First Friday with hip-hop poetry
September 13, 2010 —
Cell phones have found their place among poets and coffee houses.
Many of the poets read their poems from their phones at an open mic contest Sept. 3. This allowed them to make a last minute decision to get up and read, pulling their own poems from the internet.
Cailey Ruffini, psychology sophomore, was one such reader.
“I tried to print something off but the printer died,” she said.
This open mic contest was part of the First Fridays event at the Magic Bean Café in Saginaw Township. The event also included a featured poet and a featured artist.
Artist Elizabeth Detloff had her work displayed around the café. Buttons and magnets of her artwork were also for sale.
The audience votes on a winner for the open mic contest. The winner then goes on to be the featured poet for the next month.
Last month’s winner and featured poet for September was Brett Tafel. He performed his poetry in a genre he classifies as “alternative hip-hop.”
“In between each one, I have to take a sip of water because that takes a lot out of me,” said Tafel.
Tafel is a regular reader at the open mic contest at the Magic Bean. He said he enjoys reading because of the feeling he gets from performing and the energy he gets from the audience.
“I let people into what is stirring in my soul,” he said.
He performed one of his poems titled “Suicide Princess” for the first time.
“I felt it brought something different to the table as it wasn’t necessarily a story from my life but rather a story from many others who have gone through not having parents,” said Tafel.
He said the inspiration from the poem came from his sister who would write as an escape just like the character of the poem.
Andrea Dorsey also shared a personal message when she read at the open mic.
She wrote the poem a couple of years ago when she was in between relationships. She said she learned to rely on herself and trust in God instead of other people.
“Sometimes they disappoint you, but it’s not their fault,” said Dorsey. “They’re human.” The audience voted her to be the winner.
She will be the featured poet for October for First Fridays.
Although she has enough inspiration to prepare a few new poems for next month, Dorsey is considering reading some older ones.
Leflore Reed and William McDonald ended the night with some music that got people on their feet and clapping along.