November 28, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Stanley Andre reflects on his career as Senior Day approaches -

Thursday, November 27, 2014

UMass tight end Jean Sifrin mulls future, potential NFL career -

Thursday, November 27, 2014

UMass basketball trounces Northeastern 79-54 -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Students and staff discuss racial and social inequality following Ferguson decision -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

UMass hockey falls to Vermont, 3-1 -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No indictment for Ferguson cop -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chancellor addresses campus regarding grand jury decision in death of Michael Brown -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Northern Illinois hangs on against Ohio, Hunt carries Toledo to victory -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SGA passes 10 motions at meeting Monday night -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Students and UMPD work together during the annual ‘Walk for Light’ -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

‘Conscious Consumer’ talk promotes business sustainability -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass hockey looks to rebound against Vermont following Saturday’s blowout at home -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass women’s soccer’s Sverrisdóttir balances a soccer career between two different countries -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

‘First Demo’ provides a fascinating glimpse of Fugazi in its infancy -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My mental illness does define me (to an extent) -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to master multitasking -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One Direction hints at newfound sophistication on ‘Four’ -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TV on the Radio sounds rejuvenated on ‘Seeds’ -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass men’s club soccer fundraises its way to Memphis -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass hockey takes accountability and seeks redemption against Vermont on Tuesday -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday night poetry readings at hinge in Northampton

Flickr/PitsLamp photography

Whether you’re an aspiring poet looking for a judgment-free zone to test out your chops, a seasoned writer looking to share your life’s work, or if you’re just looking for a good time, reasonably-priced food and some kick-ass displays of creativity and talent that are well worth a $2 cover charge, look no further than Hinge at 48 Main Street in Northampton.

Hinge is a hip local restaurant and bar that hosts open mics, poetry slams, and traveling feature poets (typically working out of New York or other major creative cities) every Tuesday night.

Hinge has been hosting these events for a year with host Craig Nelson, a self-proclaimed street poet and astounding performer. Nelson is rightfully proud of the atmosphere he has created in Hinge — regular performers gain recognition amongst each other, and the atmosphere is “raucous and enthusiastic.”

Nelson describes Hinge poetry nights as “just a bunch of people around a metaphorical campfire,” and that’s exactly what it feels like. The air is thick with camaraderie as performers and spectators gather close to share poetry, which is intensely honest and personal. Writers mingle and provide feedback and inspiration.

The ambiance inside of Hinge lends itself flawlessly to creating a refreshing and accepting atmosphere during each reading. The combination of the architecture, the sultry voices reciting jazzy verses, the universal respect of the cell phone free zone, and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic audience response when a poet has finished their set make Tuesday night readings truly stimulating and thought-provoking events.

Enormous talent frequently graces the stage at Hinge. New writers and old regulars are embraced as a part of this inspired and invigorating community. One of the many standouts from this past Tuesday’s show was Maya Wegerif, a student at Mount Holyoke University and a first-timer at Hinge. First published when she was just 11-years-old, she moved to Tanzania, a country with essentially no poetry scene, in 2008.

She soon found the Alliance Française, an organization that hosts “poetry jams,” and after convincing the manager to let her read a poem at one of their events, she was met with overwhelming positive reception which spurred a wider movement of poetry in the country. Maya praises the Northampton area, saying, “There are so many platforms [for success] where you can just go down to a bar and read… [this is] almost unheard of in most African countries.”

A fan of the acoustics, architecture and interior design in Hinge, Wegerif says that although she typically dislikes background noise during a reading, the natural, understated dull roar of the venue adds a whole new level of character.

Maya is currently finding inspiration in spoken word artist Alicia Harris, describing her as “phenomenal and out-of-control with her words.”

She says reverently, “If I could write anything like her, it would be really amazing.” Wegerif is just one prime example of the highly open, emotional and well-spoken artists that you can see perform at Hinge.

Although usually there is a guest performer following the open mic, this past Tuesday Hinge hosted a cash slam: an intensely competitive but also intensely fun event where brave poets have the chance to compete and have their work judged on an Olympic 1-10 scale. Whereas the open mic has a mellow atmosphere with good vibes, the slam has irresistible, crackling energy. Competitors stand on stage, shout from atop stairs and basically perform wherever they want as long as their voice can carry. The poet with the highest overall score is awarded a cash prize, but every competitor walks away with a certain amount of legacy, having been deemed brazen warriors of their craft.

The typical turnout for these Tuesday nights is between an impressive 70 and 80 people, with around 15 performers taking the stage. Slots fill up very quickly so be prepared to come early to secure an opportunity to perform your work. The next reading will be hosted this coming Tuesday night with local talent and guest performer Christian Drake. For more information about Hinge poetry readings, check out their website at northamptonpoetry.com.

Elise Martorano can be reached at emartora@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “Tuesday night poetry readings at hinge in Northampton”
  1. Rick says:

    Thank you for an article written with emotion and appreciation for the art.

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