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PLU Open Mic Featuring Alecia McKenzie

PLU Open Mic Featuring Alecia McKenzie

Paris Lit Up Open Mic was dreamy last Thursday with the delicious poetry and prose of Alicia Mackenzie, whose reading was accompanied by the thoughtful strummings of guitarist Alun Ba.   

Karen opened round one with a poem about moments that are like religion, about eyes caressed green, fingers and eyes half closed and pillows for the weary. Moe followed, pitching the upcoming busy poetry and art event ‘Stop the Killing’, before reading his meta poem about wishing he could write poems for wine and cheese parties, and about salves of the healing kind. Gino also detailed the happenings at the Poets for Change and a song about ‘Just Us’ and justice. Laura made her open mic debut with a poem about a street taken over every day by open-mouthed women overflowing with words they don’t mean. Vic invited everyone to Berkeley Books on the upcoming Saturday for the book sale and musical event to raise money, then launched into a song about ‘stormy weather when I met her’, her being Gene Marie Kamileri who lives in Xena and read The Times on the ferry. René read a piece about the morphology of beats and the language that subtends rhythms. Katie performed a cover of a Boris song on ukulele. Ed and Rafik reformed Blue Wit after a summer’s break, performing more latin/latin poetry/music and signaling that they’re ‘branching out from Ovid’ (Ed’s joke. No one got it).

At the end of round one, Alicia kicked off the feature with a reading of a poem about climate change, about salt being the taste of the future, before reading from Sweetheart.

During the break, Ed stole the signup book from official host René who’d announced the end of PLU Open Mic for the evening. Ed, who couldn’t be stopped, illegally hijacked the stage to host an after-hours round, with performances from Ana, Tatiana, Fred, Ed (himself) and Teaty (?).

This week, on September 22, our open mic featured reader is none other than the Jamaican writer, painter and artist Alecia McKenzie! Her first book, Satellite City, and her novel Sweetheart have both won Commonwealth literary awards, and she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2015. Her work has also appeared in literary magazines and various anthologies such as Stories from Blue Latitudes, Global Tales, Light Transports, and the first Girls’ Night In, among others. Sweetheart, the story of a free-spirited artist, is currently available in French translation as Trésor.

bsmallAlecia will be accompanied by French-Senegalese guitarist Alun Ba. Born in Dakar, Ba has lived in France, the United States and West Africa, and works in different creative areas as an architect, photographer and musician. This Jamaican-Senegalese collaboration brings together literature, reggae and the blues.

You can be a part of the evening too, just turn up around 8 to sign up (poetry, prose, music, theater…anything!) and be ready to rock at 8.30/45!

For further details about Alecia, please see

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