January 24, 2013 – Soul Sounds Open Mic with Hasani Harris

January 24th Featured Performer – Hasani Harris

hasaniHasani Harris enjoys writing. Along with writing, he is a spoken word artist. He was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota for all twenty years of his life. Hasani always wanted to be a comedian but realized early his jokes were not that funny so now he writes semi-funny poetry instead.

Hasani has not won many awards or publications for his writing, but he is young and believes this will come with time. He is very active member in the slam poetry scene—on stage at least once a month.

Hasani engaged with spoken word in high school and it changed his life—an essential part of what helped him stay in school and push through rough times. So it is one of his major goals to make sure youth become actively engaged in poetry and spoken word if they have interest. He is actively pursuing this goal by attending school full time at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).

When enjoying poetry, the parts of poems that Hasani enjoys most are the parts in which he feels like home (even if those feelings are horrible). The majority of his time is being spent trying to hit home with his words. He doesn’t believe home is where the heart is but more where you can laugh, cry and fart as loud as you want, without embarrassment. He is steadily hoping one day all of his laughing, crying and farting will shine in his poetry, so readers and listeners can feel at home too.

The Golden Thyme Coffee Café and the Saint Paul Almanac are pleased to announce the “Soul Sounds Open Mic,” hosted by Tish Jones! The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” series is held every Thursday, with a special pre-performance writing workshop on the first Thursday of each month.

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul, MN 55104. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. Every first Thursday, a writing workshop will be held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

About Host Tish Jones

Tish Jones, Community Engagement Director for the Saint Paul Almanac, is a spoken word artist, writer, educator, organizer, and activist in the Twin Cities. She has worked as a teaching artist with Pillsbury House Theater, Intermedia Arts, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Public Schools (Arts for Academic Achievement), Kulture Klub, and many other arts organizations. She received the 2009 Artist of the Year Award from City Pages and was Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Spoken Word Association’s Urban Griots Awards in 2009.

About the Soul Sounds Open Mic

The Soul Sounds Open Mic is a platform for encouraging literacy within the Saint Paul community through leadership, mentoring, and relationship building. Unlike actors and many musicians, writers typically work in isolation, so building and supporting a literary community can be a challenge.

The “open mic” format, together with a featured performer, is designed to foster leadership; encourage connecting opportunities between established, emerging, and amateur writers; and help build, strengthen, and leverage other opportunities for the Saint Paul literary community.

Featured performers are recognized as leaders in the literary arts community and are offered an opportunity to build their own audiences. The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” also provides a space to connect writers who are spoken-word based and writers who are written-word based, within the context of being artists sharing a common literary heritage and practicing their craft in Saint Paul.

The First Thursday workshops before performances will explore specific poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, metaphor, or specific forms of poetry to investigate when developing a piece. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to share the work created in the workshop at the open mic that follows.

About the Saint Paul Almanac

Now in its indispensable seventh edition, the 2013 Saint Paul Almanac is both a friendly guidebook to Minnesota’s capital city and Saint Paul’s eclectic community storytelling book of record, featuring essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurants, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Buy it now.

Available in full color, the 416-page 2013 Saint Paul Almanac includes over 160 photos and illustrations; gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size, pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown; and pull-out artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken!

A successful experiment in democratic publishing, the 2013 Almanac brought together a multigenerational group of 21 community editors to choose 132 pieces by 114 writers—without the editors knowing the authors’ identities—from hundreds of submissions.

High school students’ work appears alongside writing by grandparents, and first-time writers appear next to Saint Paul literary greats such as Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl.

Every person’s story is one unique part of a larger puzzle. When pieced together with all the other stories in the Saint Paul Almanac, the book transforms into a magical overview of Saint Paul’s interwoven cultures and communities, a tapestry of neighborhoods and favorite haunts.

The 2013 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $14.95 online (including S&H) at www.saintpaulalmanac.org and is available for $14.95 in independent and mainstream bookstores everywhere, as well as at libraries and coffee houses throughout the city.

Saint Paul Almanac‘s generous partners and sponsors include the City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), Minnesota State Arts Board, Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Traveler’s Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Knight Foundation, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

Event Location

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. The First Thursday writing workshop is held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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