Run with the heard at Glassless Minds

A local open-mic allows for all people to perform and watch poetry from around the county.

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The Glassless logo shown, is present on Glassless Minds’ stickers and remaining merchandise.

On the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, an open-mic night, called Glassless Minds, is hosted at 219 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054. This night gives people an opportunity to be heard, and through a variety of poets and musicians alike, Glassless Minds provides an open platform for performing.

Glassless Minds is not only an open-mic, but an organization with a specific goal in mind: “Establish and maintain public facilities designed to cultivate and nurture culture, art, and compassion through expressive arts.”

The atmosphere Glassless has created is appreciated by one attendee in particular.  Evan Rhoderick, a regular attendee and poet expressed the impact the organization has had on him.

“I like that it’s really personal,” one attendee, Evan Rhoderick, said. “The close space forces you to be personal, but also its really queer”.

Glassless has featured a variety of queer poets, like Ashe Vernon, as well as people of color, such as Jani Rosad0, Aman Batra and Anita Dias. Glassless also features comedy acts from comedians like David Zafra.

“It’s this perfect combination of nurturing talent and allowing people to get up and express themselves without judgement,” an attendee, Matthew Maichen, said. “I am a much, much better poet because of Glassless.”

Maichen explains that open-mic nights at Glassless differ from other poetry communities, like the slam community, a poetry competition where poets read original content. Although Glassless hosts slam competitions during slam season, September through March, open-mic nights are not competitive. The lack of competition at open-mic creates a different environment.

“It’s common for there to  be this elitism in poetry communities,” said Maichen. “Unfortunately, the slam community can really cause that because the slam community is so intensely competitive. Glassless Minds is not competitive, people just get up and do their best, but regardless of what their best is, they are welcomed here.”

Through a $5 donation at the door, people receive the opportunity to sign up for performing and to watch the other performers at the bimonthly event. Performing is not mandatory, and simply watching is welcome. Through the donations, Glassless Minds will continue to inspire and support its attendees.

“I have come so far because of Glassless,” said Maichen, “because of the way they nurture talent, and because of the way they nurture…the human being behind the talent”.