Photo courtesy of Kirby Beaton

Photo courtesy of Kirby Beaton

For many, writing is a creative outlet. From singing songs to constructing poetic rhyme schemes to spinning short tales, it’s a source of relief — a type of catharsis. At Thursday’s open mic night, the Literature and Poetry clubs there supplied no shortage of words from I.V. locals.

With its muraled walls and the smell of a dark roasts permeating the air, the Coffee Collaborative served as the perfect location for this event. Organized by UCSB student Mackenzie Hart, this wordsmith showcase demonstrated the wide range of talent Isla Vista has to offer. Spoken word echoed throughout the night as many artists shared their innermost thoughts with strangers. Poetry about love, loss and the state of the world we live in hit the crowd throughout the night followed by rounds of applause.

One by one, there was no shortage of eager individuals ready to share their words. Opting to bring out his best jokes and humorous stories, Alex Wehrung offered a change in mood. Alec Hartnett’s poetry proved to be a treat for the ears. A piece about his mother had female audience members cooing throughout each stanza. Jason Chun, who recited two pieces, closed out for the Nexus performers.

For Chun, the writing process begins months in advance as he went on to tell me, “I wrote my first poem for a recent art project and already had a chance to perform it. My second poem was trickier: Even though I started writing it months ago, I made my last edits a couple hours before the open mic. I think the first piece came out stronger, but I’m glad I had the chance to share both.”

As the night progressed, the crowd surrounding the Collab grew and the free coffee samples were soon dished out (Nutella coffee samples to be exact). The amount of creativity throughout the evening was amazing, showing the ways writing can help to heal us and help to show us a better way to deal with things. As the evening cooled off and the list of performers dwindled, a sense of comradery developed among the remainder of the audience. This open mic night showed the unwavering talent and unwavering support the community gives one another, and through the power of words, those around us can express themselves and hope to make an impact.