Wonder what’s been going on at the place they used to call North By North West, at 7165 Germantown Avenue? Well, now it’s called the 7165 Lounge, and the nightclub venue is putting its stage to work again. This time in the name of art, and poetry. Panoramic Poetry, a performance featuring spoken word and music, will be featured at the lounge on the first and last Sundays of each month at 3:30pm. The $10 entrance fee includes a vegan brunch.
On a recent Sunday the Panoramic Poetry lineup included Annelisa Vallery who sang “Summertime” while the poet Crucial recited his poem “What if Poetry Was a Crime?” Crucial also hosts the event, encouraging the audience to give the performers positive energy.Panoramic Poetry was started by the October Gallery, which is owned by Evelyn and Mercer Redcross. The gallery features African American art and started 26 years ago. At first, it just featured art. But people approached the gallery about singing, having fashion demonstrations and holding workshops, and the Redcrosses wanted to give people the opportunity to connect, said Evelyn and Mercer’s son, Lamar Redcross. Panoramic Poetry grew out of the gallery’s desire to further the arts. The poetry readings provide a place for a diverse range of poets a place to interact. Readings also take place at the October Gallery on the second and third Fridays of the month. They hope to attract new crowds by expanding the poetry readings to both the gallery and 7165 lounge. Lamar Redcross, who is a fan of poetry, wanted Panoramic Poetry to be different from other readings, where some performers get more time on stage than others. So each person is allowed to do three pieces and spend five to seven minutes on stage. “Everyone gets the same amount of time, the same amount of respect and hopefully, the same amount of attention.” Andrea Johnson and her husband came out to the show for the first time and ended up buying some of the artwork on display. “I don’t know where we are going to put it,” she said of the purchase.
To try your poetry out on stage contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on Panoramic Poetry and the artwork on display at 7165 Lounge visit the October Gallery website.