Erin McNemar / Arts & Entertainment

Erin McNemar

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Everyone has varying interests, goals and opinions. However, people can unite on a common and relatable ground.

On Friday, Nov. 4,  spoken word poet Gabriela Garcia Medina performed some of her original works in the Night Owl Cafe.

Medina began writing poetry when she was young.  She said, “I was about 10 years old, and my family had migrated to the U.K. from Cuba, and it was a way I found that I could express what I was feeling.”

The performance began with Medina sitting down with the audience and getting to know everyone. She asked each individual person their name, and what they were majoring in to a create an intimate and close group for the performance.

Once the reading began, Medina performed poems about what makes her herself, such as having a broken heart, sexual assault, and being a progressive feminist as well as other numerous topics. Medina also read some company poetry ads she wrote for organizations such as Home Depot and Dove soap.

Medina explained her creative process when it comes to writing poetry. “Either things are commissioned and they will say, ‘Okay, I want you to write a poem about how great it is to be Latino.’ Then I will come up with an idea,” Medina said. “Either that, or I set perimeters for myself like, ‘I want to talk about love because I’m in a lot of pain now.’ Then I write about that, so different things and interactions with people. Also stories that I hear,” said Medina.

While writing your own poetry is one thing, performing it can be intimidating. However, Medina did not shy away from the spotlight. “So I’ve always liked performing, and I’ve always performed. I performed other people’s poems when I was younger. When Is started writing my own poems, I always wanted to perform them, but I didn’t know there was such a thing as performance poetry,” Medina said. “When I was 15, I won a scholarship to Columbia University for this teen writing program. One of the field trips we went on was to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and that was when I saw spoken word for the first time. It blew my mind, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can marry my love for acting and my love for writing together,’” Medina said.

First-year Sydney Robinson was working on the tech crew for the NOC on Friday, so she was able to watch the reading. “I thought it was really good. It was actually above my expectations. I had a lot of poetry in high school, but this was a lot better than that,” said Robinson.

Also attending the performance was KSC junior Dillon Tavitian. Tavitian attended because, “It was just something to do on a Friday night, and some of my friends invited me.” Tavitian said, “I had never seen a poet perform before so I didn’t know what to expect.”

Tavitian said he enjoyed the performance, and would go to another poetry reading in the future. “It was really good, intimate and empowering. I had a really good time. It was fun,” Tavitian said.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at

emcnemar@kscequinox.com