The Spotlight: New Spoken Word Venue Seeks Poets and Performers

Everyone has a story, but some of us are blessed with the ability to convey it beautifully. Edwin Sheppard, founder of Blooming Rose Promotions and Entertainment, and business partner Jerris "Quickthepoet" Evans, invite you to lend an ear to some of the world's most articulate poets, including three-time Poetry Slam champion Steve Shell.

"Expect to be inspired," says Sheppard about Miami's newest spoken word venue, The Spotlight. With no genre or formula, the creators have established a fluid space where people can discuss real issues and express themselves freely.

See also: Watch Miami Pedestrians Recite Poetry During O, Miami 2014

Opening night on October 6 will be the first showcase of many to be repeated every first and third Monday of the month. Nestled within the Moonchine Asian Bistro is an intimate lounge that will host a diverse lineup of entertaining artists and poets when doors open at 6 p.m.

"It has a real sexy and relaxed ambience, and a little Asian influence, too," says Sheppard. The lounge accommodates between 75 and 100 people, and admission costs $10.

The Spotlight's host, Arsimmer McCoy, is an experienced entertainer, actress, singer, and songwriter. Proud to be part of what she labels a universal artistry, she believes the most important aspect of self-expression is noticing the way it affects other people.

"Because who knows, whatever you're saying, somebody else could be feeling or thinking, and they just need to know they're not the only one," McCoy says. "Sometimes it'll make you shout, sometimes it'll make you cuss, and the great thing about spoken word events is you can do all of that."

As she's soon to marry local poet Calvin "MadeS.O.N" Early, the show represents something close to her heart. Early is the host for another Blooming Rose project, "Real Talk, Real People."

"His love for this art is why I want to do it so much because he's instilled it in me," McCoy says. "He brings out so many things, so many issues, and puts it into art, and it's like, how'd he do that? How did he make art out of such a bad situation? Things that we cry about. He takes it and makes it something beautiful, and gives it clarity and positivity."

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Raychel Lean

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