by: Zinnia Ramirez
An open mic night was held by UCI’s literary journal, New Forum, to kick off their first event of the school year on Oct. 3. Hosted in the cross-section of the School of Humanities, the event became a platform for many voices.
The open mic not only served as a hub for creative expression but also an opportunity to introduce New Forum’s 2019-2020 editorial board.
The night began with an introduction from senior editor Sarah Mayo, a fourth year English major with a creative writing emphasis. Mayo spoke to an audience of about 50 people that included UCI students, faculty and friends while additional people signed up for their 3-minute spoken-word debuts.
One of the speakers, English major Jasmine Huerta Lara started the evening with a short story titled, “The Sun, The Moon and the Mouth of the Lion.” She began reading from pages two and three, in which the main characters Sochi and her younger siblings, Sunny and Lunita, gossip about their mother during dinner.
According to Lara, the larger concept of the story revolves around the unique Mexican magic that she felt while briefly living with her mother in Tijuana.
“There is a spectacular magic in Mexico that I felt growing up and still feel to this day,” Lara said. “I wanted to translate that magic that blends both hope and danger into my story.”
Audience members listened as Lara told the story of a hardworking mother who refuses to let go of anything precious in her life, for example, her husband or her children, but she also has had parts taken from her. She stated that her children have lost things as well, and it’s a story about holding on to each other tightly.
The sign-up list ended up with 23 additional speakers who presented poetry and prose that ranged in topics from old friendships to would-be first dates as well as teenage failures.
The next reader, English major Victoria May Surace-Aguirre, spoke to the pressure of systematic procedures in a proctored SAT test. Her piece titled, “Letter from an SAT Course” reminded the audience of the nervous feeling high school students gets when taking the standardized exam
“Show us how you move without your spine,” she wrote.
The New Forum praised the open mic for being their first event of the year and encouraged the audience to submit their works for the Fall 2019 issue.