The gallery was never quiet that evening—every time someone left someone else showed up to replace them—but the energy really picked up when open mic started at 6 p.m.
Open mic at ROTA is a little different than open mic at other venues—the gallery space is well-lit, there isn't a stage, and when someone begins, everyone listens.
Some performers played acoustic guitar and sang about life and society at large, while others recited poetry.
Abisola Majeed shared one of her poems, which is an untitled work that Majeed affectionately referred to as “Hey Alice.”
“I’m very shy, so this is a great opportunity,” Majeed said. “Everyone here is so talented and creative, and they’re sweet and open. It’s a safe place for people to express their work.”
Majeed’s confession of shyness is a surprise—she delivered her work with certainty and grace, never faltering from the words on the page.
She has had some practice, and can often be found every other Thursday at ROTA’s open poetry night.
Her poetry focuses on human experiences, things many of us are familiar with.
“I think it’s easier to write when you have an experience that touches you,” Majeed said. “You have to write about what you know.”