Pelham Public Library holds first ever open mic poetry event

Published 2:25 pm Friday, October 7, 2022

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

 PELHAM – The Pelham Public Library let the art of poetry flow for its debut open mic poetry event.

The open mic night was held on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Jamil Glenn hosted the event and said he encouraged artists in the Shelby County area to support local artists.

“We have this saying S.O.A.P.,” Glenn said. “S.O.A.P. means support our local artists, please. If you don’t use soap, you’re dirty. If artists don’t feel supported at home, they might go to Atlanta or California.”

Glenn said that he believes the Pelham Public Library event will encourage more spaces to be made for artists in the area.

“The Pelham Library event is creating a space for poets in the area,” Glenn said. “I am a poet and originally from Birmingham, but I have been out in Alabaster for some time now and normally there isn’t a lot of poetry events out here. I want to create a space where poets can come and be themselves.”

Glenn discussed a “spoken word high” in reference to the power poetry can hold.

“Words come from the soul, transcending the atmosphere,” Glenn said. “Words continue, art is a beautiful reflection of you.”

Glenn said he started writing poetry at West End High School in ninth grade.

“I started writing poetry when I was 15 years old,” Glenn said. “Throughout the years, I threw a lot of poetry away, as I got older, that is when I really got into writing.”

Ashley Silver is a poet and podcaster who was in attendance of the event and read several pieces.

“We want to create expression in a world that can be very uniform,” Silver said. “As creatives, we go through dire lengths to get approval. I want to encourage creatives to positively influence the world with your craft.”

Lori Hamilton was a poet in attendance of the event who read her piece “Ghost of Montevallo” during the reading.

“I first got into reading and writing poetry when I was home for the summer from going to the University of Montevallo,” Hamilton said. “I discovered poetry could be used as a way to express your emotions.”

Hamilton said she drew inspiration for her piece “Ghost of Montevallo” from her time living in the dorm at the University of Montevallo.

“I attended college at the University of Montevallo from 1988 to 1991,” Hamilton said. “I knew there were stories about ghosts on campus, but never knew much about the ghosts there until long after I left college.”

Hamilton said poetry has served as an opportunity to heal from past trials and tribulations, and that she has written poetry since high school.

“When I started to write poems, I started to heal,” Hamilton said. “I am still healing whenever I write a poem. Thirty years later, it still helps me emotionally to write a poem.”

Hamilton said she enjoyed the poetry reading at the Pelham Public Library.

“I think that the Pelham Public Library is a beautiful venue for an open mic poetry reading,” Hamilton said. “All the poets who read last night were enthusiastic and very talented.”

Hamilton said she hopes to see more poetry events at the library.

“I hope that the Pelham Public Library continues to host open mic readings for poets and spoken word artists in the future,” she said. “I am always excited to see new venues popping up where I can share my poems and be heard.”

More information on upcoming events for the Pelham Public Library can be found at