What is Found in the Lost Poet Lounge

If you're picking up rice in a church where a wedding has been, would you have the words to piece together a poem reflecting the pain and joy of past loves? Even if you did, would you have the courage to share your story in front of an audience? There are hidden poets who don't know where they belong, and they might find themselves comfortable at the Lost Poet Lounge, a series founded by Ellie Gonzalez.

In the beginning of 2014 (when there was actually a winter), Gonzalez launched her poetry sharing event in the friendly atmosphere of Banter Bistro. Her ability to write was revealed during sad times when she prepared poems for several funerals of her beloved family members. In the instance of her cousin Sonia Garcia, the program featured a poem by Gonzalez. The common refrain from her family was, "I didn't know you write." In that time of pain, the power of a poem coming from the heart was apparent.

"We all have something to say in some form or fashion," says Gonzalez. "We all want to be heard in our lives. People want to find other that can identify with them."

At Banter the supportive nature of the community revealed itself. With Ellie Gonzalez thinking of herself as a lost poet, she got what she hoped for with an event that would embrace sharing and encourage openness. After all, what poets have to share is really personal.

On the power of sharing poetry Gonzalez says, "I feel like it's a calming experience when you're coming from pain, love or any odd things in life." Humans have profoundly different experiences yet the resulting feelings they accumulate are a way for people to relate. Spoken word can be viewed as experiencing a one-person play. There are complexities within the human experience that are simplified when filtered through bared emotions.

There's no Facebook page serving as an aggressive marketing tool to recruit poets. Performers are found through Gonzalez's sociability. While hanging out at the margarita competition held at Mulberry Cantina recently, Gonzalez found herself next to a gentleman named Evan Alexander Moore, pounding away a poem on his phone. That chance meeting led to Moore opening the next LPL event with music, but perhaps he'll speak one of his poems another time.

"Think, Write, Speak" is the slogan of Lost Poet Lounge. They're the trifecta of activities that fill the gap between birth and death. When these things aren't done alone is how one human life can be enriched while perhaps progressing society. For the moment, you can expect the next session to be held at Wine Squared every two months. 

Header photo by Ellie Gonzalez
Header image design by Brittany Keeton