Trinfo Cafe, Hartford Iron Poets, & The Mill: Community Open Mic Night

All photo credits to hannah grosberg.

Trinfo Cafe partnered with The Mill and Iron Poets to host a Community Open Mic Night. As the event started, guests socialized, enjoyed free refreshments, and settled in for the open mic. A few people signed up to perform.

Versatile Poetiq, a member of the Iron Poets and MC for the evening, opened with a spoken word poem. She also commenced a community poem by sending around a notebook for participants to write in. Each writer is allowed to read the final 2 lines of the poem before adding to it and passing it on to someone else, resulting in one long free-form poem.

First up on the program was Isabel Exstein ’19, co-president of Iron Poets, performing a spoken word poem. After a performance from Zulynette, the list of people on the sign up sheet had been exhausted. After cheers from the crowd, others came forward to perform.

The night was filled with surprise performances. When a pair of dancers took the stage, the crowd was happy to accommodate the performance, sliding their chairs back a couple of feet to give the dancers space.

Isabel Extein said the highlight was watching people with no intention of performing, feel inspired to share. “The event had started off with a quiet turnout, but by the end, a whole mass of participants were eager to go to the center and perform their songs, dances, and poems!”

To close out the event, a volunteer from the crowd came up to read the full community poem aloud.

Karen Griffin, a regular patron at Trinfo, attended the Open Mic. She said,

“The poems, you got a lot out of it. It talked. It actually talked to you.” She added, “I not only enjoyed the acts, but I enjoyed the gathering of it… I also got to share about the things that I do [at Trinfo], how they can utilize this, and it can work for them.” -Karen Griffin

The thing that stood out most to Karen? “What was key: it was a positive vibe.”

Exstein said that creating a supportive environment is what the open mic was all about.

When someone shares their art, to an extent, they are sharing a piece of their soul. By bringing people together in an event like this, automatically a space is created to allow people to share these treasured thoughts and ideas in a way that is unique to them.” -Isabel Exstein ’19, Co-President of Iron Poets


We extend a special thank you to the Iron Poets, Arianna Basche, Program Manager at Trinfo.Cafe, the Mill, and hannah grosberg.

The Iron Poets is a group of writers made up of Trinity students and members of the Hartford community. They host bi-monthly writing circles, open to the public. Check them out on Facebook for more information.