Spoken word artist Cyn Da’Poet kicked off Latino Heritage Month and a night of spoken word poetry Wednesday when Another Type of Groove, the university’s monthly open mic night, opened to a large crowd of Cal Poly students and community members.
Another Type of Groove, which is hosted by Cal Poly’s Multicultural Center and Student Life and Leadership, gives students and members of the community a chance to be heard by allowing them to take the stage and share poetry of their own.
“Students like the energy of the spoken word,” said Renoda Campbell, the Multicultural Center coordinator. “Sometimes even community members come and share their poetry.”
In regard to Latino Heritage Month, Campbell added, “We try as a community to show our support from one month to the next.”
Cyn Da’ Poet also paid homage to Latino Heritage Month with her poetry. She, too, comes from a Hispanic background.
Originally from El Salvador, Cyn Da’ Poet moved to Los Angeles at a young age. Her natural talent for writing and art, as well as her diverse surroundings, led her to become a spoken word artist while she was growing up. Today, she hopes to touch the lives of others by sharing issues they can relate to. Her aspirations are far from over, as she has yet to publish her first book and develop a new genre of poetry.
Clad in a hat that sat just above her eyes, Cyn Da’ Poet opened the show passionately reciting her first poem, “Eres” (You Are), entirely in Spanish. While surprised at first at language difference, the audience listened with open minds while the words of the poem sunk in.
Some of the issues she mentioned in her poetry included unity, struggle and love, as well as more specific topics of struggle, racism, poverty and immigration. She also took time to address family issues.
“We grow up believing that our parents hold us down because they don’t love us, but the reason they (try to keep us near them) is because they love us,” she said as her mother and grandmother watched her perform for the first time. Later, she added, “To me, my parents are my heroes.”
Cyn Da’ Poet also dedicated a poem called “Las Camisas Blancas” (White Shirts), to her grandmother, who sat in the back of the room. The poem focused on issues of immigration, as several members of her family have moved to the United States.
Another Type of Groove takes pride in bringing together individuals of different backgrounds and cultures that have something to say, and letting respect build between them. True to the events foundations, the crowd at the event was diverse and accepting.
“I’ve been going to this for about three years,” said Jaq Sicilia, a junior business major and open mic participant. “What I like about it is the diversity, different styles, different people, and the different poems.”
Another Type of Groove takes place on the first Wednesday of each month in Chumash Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.