Open Mic Night to Highlight University Poets and Storytellers


Retro microphone on stage in restaurant. Blurred background

Katie Considine Staff Writer

On Thursday Nov. 9, there will be an Open Mic Night held in the Belle Air Terrace of the Connelly Center at 7 p.m. for poets and storytellers to share their pieces centered around the theme of “belonging.”  This event is part of the Festival of Augustinian Imagination, developed by the Office for Mission and Ministry to celebrate Villanova’s Demisemisept Centennial that will run until Nov. 19.  The Open Mic Night will be sponsored by the Unitas Committee.  Anyone who is living or working on campus in any capacity is encouraged to participate, whether student, faculty, or staff member.  

The theme is of the event hopes to explore how we understand the concept of belonging and why it matters.  Stories or poems shared should consider this theme and connect with the writer’s sense of belonging and how the term personally applies to him or her.  It does not necessarily have to do with belonging at the University, but can be about belonging or not belonging anywhere.  The pieces shared are meant to offer a variety of perspectives about what belonging means to different people and what role it plays in our identities.  The purpose of sharing these thoughts through poems and stories is that they are a way of making sense of experiences and expressing these experiences in a way that makes them matter.  Dr. Heidi Rose, Ph.D., member of the Unitas committee, likes the form of poems and stories. “One of the unique qualities of what it means to be human is to reflect on experiences and express them through poems and stories,” Rose said.  The event is not a competition, so all participants do not have to feel pressure to do anything but share their thoughts. 

It is important to know that stories matter and sharing them can bring people together in new ways.  There is always something new to be learned about yourself or others through the act of sharing experiences.  The event promises to be very entertaining with the opportunity to discover the talents and creativity of friends and people you may not even know.  It is a way for people to become exposed to a spoken word performance, something that may be a first for many in the community.  Rose is especially excited because the event will allow for a lot more engagement between faculty and students that is not about the class.  

“A benefit of the Open Mic Night is to develop a relationship between staff and students that is outside the classroom and to hear the voices of people you don’t always get to talk to,” Rose said  

To get involved, there is a sign-up link on the website of the Office of Mission and Ministry.  You can register by submitting the online form or get in touch with Rose with any questions.  There is also an opportunity to sign up on the night of the event without registering first.  Students can sign up at 6:30 and the event will begin at 7 p.m.