LGBTQIA Poetry Open Mic Night Hosted by Students at Point Perk Coffeehouse Thursday, December 19, 2019
“I’ve always loved poetry. My idol is Neil Hilborn. But last year, I took a poetry workshop class with Dr. Sarah Perrier, and it changed my life. Poetry has become an outlet for me in every way, and has given me so much life."
Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice students Kaitlyn Regulbuto and Quinton Holt recently organized the poetry event “Out and Open Mic Night: A Spotlight on LGBTQIA Voices,” in collaboration with Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management Instructor Greg Joseph’s Talent and Booking class.
Held at Point Perk, the University’s on-campus coffeehouse, the event began with readings by Shy Amado, a Filipino actor, activist, writer and multimedia artist based in Pittsburgh; Zeca Gonzalez, a spoken word artist originally from Miami and Leo Basinger, a part-time poet and junior theatre production major from Greensburg, Pa.
Regulbuto and Holt then opened up the stage to anyone who wanted to perform their original pieces.
“I’ve always loved poetry. My idol is Neil Hilborn. But last year, I took a poetry workshop class with Dr. Sarah Perrier, and it changed my life. Poetry has become an outlet for me in every way, and has given me so much life,” said Regulbuto, a junior English major and graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School in Hawley, Pa.
“I've always enjoyed reading, listening to and writing poetry. It's probably my favorite genre to write. Also, being here has introduced me to the large population of LGBTQ+ students and opportunities to engage with the community,” added Holt, a junior creative writing major from Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh.
Perrier, who serves as chair of the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice, enjoyed the opportunity to listen to readings from writers she has had in class, as well as some local poets she never met.
“It was among the best student-organized open mic events I have attended. The success of the event shows just how creative Point Park students are, and it’s also a great example of what happens when Point Park students take what they are learning in the classroom and use it to strengthen their communities on and off campus,” Perrier said.
“I really enjoyed the event! I definitely wanted to meet more queer people here and I love poetry,” said Emily Loecken, a freshman theatre arts major from Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Md.
According to Joseph, his Talent and Booking Class students, who are known as Point Perk Entertainment and put together all of the shows in Point Perk, have raised the visibility of the venue.
“I am so happy to see Point Perk being used by so many of our talented students to express themselves. It is now a ‘go to’ place on campus for live music, creative reading events, comedy and more. We are looking to expand our roster of events for the spring semester,” Joseph said.
Regulbuto added: "This event became a place of community that night. It exceeded our expectations in every way. As a student, I love Point Park’s Downtown location. I wanted a unique college experience, and the small classes, urban location and extraordinary campus has made it such.”
More About: English, creative writing, School of Arts and Sciences, social justice studies, Upper St. Clair High School, Department of Literary Arts, student workshop, sports, arts and entertainment management, theatre production, Downtown Pittsburgh