Picture this; a woman standing in the middle of 12 college students. Each sat on colorful couches and chairs ready to listen to the woman’s famous thoughts.
On Thursday, 12 students huddled into the HUB, an integral center for diversity, vitality and creativity, to hear Mindy Nettifee read some of her world famous poetry.
“I didn’t really know what to expect because I have never been a poetry person myself but I was blown away because I could understand it or at least understand what you think it means, either way I really liked it and I’m glad I came,” said junior Karina Whitehouse.
Nettifee is a critically acclaimed poet, who has been to over 500 universities, colleges and venues to perform and teach others about the beauty of poetry.
Nettifee has competed in five National Poetry Slams, toured with indie rock band the Cold War Kids and headlined on some national poetry tours such as The Last Nerve A High Tea Poetry Brawl, The Whirlwind Company and The Poetry Revival, as well as speaking at The Drums Inside Your Chest, a critically acclaimed poetry concert in Los Angeles.
Nettifee started out her night like any other. She spoke to the crowd.
The first poem she read was “Prayer for a Party”, which involved the crowd while they stomped their feet during certain parts of the poem so that people were engaged.
A member in the crowd asked Nettifee how she became comfortable speaking in front of so many others on stage.
“Volume, volume of practice,” said Mindy Nettifee.
Nettifee has written three books such as, “Glitter in the Blood”, “Rise of the Trust Fall” and “Sleepyhead Assassins”. Along with writing her own books, Nettifee has edited other poet’s books.
She also has a nonprofit organization called Write Now Poetry Society, which she started about nine years ago with Amber Tamblyn.
They decided to put on a big show called The Drums Inside Your Chest with an audience of about 500 people, just so they could increase the amount of people who listened to poetry and get others to want to understand their passion for poetry.
“I started writing poems in the third grade, but by the time I was almost 13 I decided to start going to this open mic in Huntington Beach,” said Nettifee, “because it was [the only]place my mom would let me go when I was young, that was safe and wholesome, but it was not wholesome.”
Nettifee lived in Iowa where it was mandatory to take music and poetry in elementary school.
She was influenced by this and started to create her own poetry.
“I fell in love with how weird and free everyone was, and they weren’t competing with others directly, it was more like who could be the most themselves,” said Nettifee.
In regard to how to write poetry, Nettifee said, “Learn to not care.”
Nettifee explained that in order to be who a person wants to be, they have to learn to not care about others thoughts.
Nettifee read eight more poems before ending the night by having a guest play guitar as she read her final poem of the night called, “Last Act”.