A congregation of more than 60 poets and spectators from all over San Francisco and the Bay Area came to City Hall on April 27 to participate in the seventh annual Poems Under The Dome open-mic poetry reading.
The night began with audience members holding hands under the City Hall dome in an opening prayer led by poet Jorge Molina.
After the opening ceremony, the poetry was kicked off with San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos reading a poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca, and was followed by the Board of Supervisors proclamation that the day officially be designated as Poems Under the Dome Day.
Following Avalos’ reading, all poets willing to participate were welcomed and encouraged to read. The event boasted poets of all ages and levels of experience, ranging from a high school collective that called themselves the InstaPoets to older and more experienced individuals.
“It was an amazing range of people: multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational,” said the event program organizer and newly elected Associated Student Senator “Diamond” Dave Whitaker, known on campus as “Diamond Dave.”
A member of the Beat generation, “Diamond” Dave conceived the original plan for the event in 2005 when he first became a student at City College. Standing at the top of Alamo Square, he looked down at City Hall and was inspired to use it as venue to bring the city’s poets together under one roof.
“As a man I’ve been doing poetry for some time and my goal is to push the envelope and bring together the mother of all open-mics,” he said. (239)