August 7, 2022

Poetry reading and open mic presented by Open Ceilings magazine

The Open Ceilings team.

By Nora Lelivelt

DAVIS – Open ceilings’ the first virtual evening of open mic and poetry was full of positivity and support; featuring fourteen powerful voices from UC Davis students and community members. The theme, Wintertide, may have referred to the coldest season of the year, but was contrary to the warmth and coziness of the evening.

Open Ceilings is a biannual magazine publication run by 23 undergraduates attending UC Davis. Their mission is to provide prose, poetry, and photography with a cohesive platform for publication, as well as empower previously unknown voices.

Last Friday’s event began with the sharing of favorite book recommendations among the 40 or so people in attendance. The most recommended books include “They can’t kill us until they kill us “ by Hanif Abdurraqib; “The Old Way “ by Elizabeth Marshall; “Since I laid down my burden “ by Brontez Purnell and “Vertical interrogation of foreigners “ by Bhanu Kapil.

The poetry reading segment, organized by Mali, brought together five readers from the Open Ceilings’ family of contributors, Ruth Christopher, Spencer Rico, Alyssa Henderson, Ahmad Sleiman and Gabriela Gonzalez. Each was given a 15 minute segment to share poems written by themselves or meaningful to themselves.

To start the poetry reading, Christopher shared an article she wrote titled “So that. “This piece has been performed once in English and again in Spanish, making a nice addition to an already perfect piece:

“… You are my pulse, my fierce, my fear. While when you light up my eyes blink. Whereas when you roar, my teeth tremble. Whereas when you sweat I taste like salt. So that when you sleep, I float with you. I am your center, your balance, your flight.

The poems presented by each reader were powerful and compelling. Stories about love and loss, protest and the desire for approval, sanity, religion, dancing and a laughing baby; each poem was able to provide a meaningful perspective on emotionally rich topics.

To read these poems, many of them have been published in the new edition of Open ceilings, shoes before socks or edition already published, Brushwood.

Then, the open mic segment allowed nine presenters, including two new speakers, to share their favorite or original pieces. Two new speakers were welcomed to Open Ceilings’ virtual microphone tonight and performed their original poems with grace.

In addition, all are welcome and encouraged to attend the Spring Quarter Virtual Open Mic and Poetry Evening. Follow @ open.ceilings on Instagram for more details on future events.

To learn more about Open Ceilings‘, the public submission process and upcoming events, please visit:

Find out where to buy old publications from Open Ceilings locally, please contact [email protected]

Nora Lelivelt is a fourth year cell biology student at UC Davis, also with a minor in professional writing and biodiversity.

Support our work – to become a support at $ 5 – $ 10 – $ 25 per month, click on the link: