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  • Frank X. Rojas

New L.A. Times Article

The beats and emojis flow as spoken-word open-mics shelter on Instagram


By Frank Rojas April 30, 2020


In a garage in Bell, Friday nights used to be occasions for a communal celebration. Rows of people would sit under strings of lights, vibrant hand-drawn illustrations adorned the walls and local vendors lined the driveway. If you walked past the front yard you might assume it was a carne asada joint, but for the past six years, Alivio Open Mic has been home to various Southeast L.A. poets and artists, all taking their shot at the spotlight.

With California sheltering at home during the COVID-19 crisis, Alivio has had to cancel its monthly gatherings, but open-mic nights continue; all you need is a phone.

For the last month, poet Eric Eztli, who founded Alivio Open Mic in 2013, has been hosting weekly live poetry readings on Instagram Live. It’s his way of sustaining the Alivio spirit now that they can’t gather in his parents’ garage, and it has allowed him to support local artists and vendors via a GoFundMe campaign, which aims to raise $10,000.


Read the full article HERE.

© 2019 by Frank Rojas | Email: behindlosojos@gmail.com