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The Mass Media

Write on the DOT: Poetry, prose, and beer at The Banshee Pub

The+theme+of+the+night+on+Friday+was+Caught+in+the+Web%3A+Tales+from+the+Net.+Poets+signed+up+to+read+their+web-inspired+work+before+their+peers+and+guests+while+enjoying+bubbling+beers+from+the+bar.

The theme of the night on Friday was “Caught in the Web: Tales from the Net.” Poets signed up to read their web-inspired work before their peers and guests while enjoying bubbling beers from the bar.

What could possibly cause a group of people to get together at The Banshee Pub on Dorchester Ave. on a frigid Friday night? No, it is not the Boston Red Sox. It is Write on the DOT, an open mic night hosted by students from the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Write on the DOT was started by several M.F.A. students in 2010. Lynn Holmgren is the lead coordinator for the reading series. She openly discusses the purpose behind the open mic events. “It is a space to get together and drink, read, socialize, and grow the literary community in Dorchester.”
She added, “The themes are to help generate the spirit of improvisation and new work. I didn’t want people to feel like they had to bring their best work.”
The theme of the night on Friday was “Caught in the Web: Tales from the Net.” Poets signed up to read their web-inspired work before their peers and guests while enjoying bubbling beers from the bar.
Lori Zimmermann began the night with her poem about various social media, which she referred to as a “chant.” The room filled with laughter as she recited her melodic poem. One line read, “Type meanwhile in Twitter’s box, what it is that rocks your socks … Illegally downloaded media, misinforming Wikipedia.”
The night continued with more poetry, prose, and a lot of spontaneous microphone adjustments. Many were for laughs, like Shea Mullaney’s “Twitter-inspired” poem, “#Top100Lies #poem #poetry.” Like the title suggests, this poem was a list of Twitter’s top 100 lies ever told. The number one lie read was “I love you.”
Mullaney, who decided to go paperless, read from his laptop as he delivered each line with personality and character, which made his reading all the more enjoyable.
Elysia Smith and Audrey Mardavich both read comedic poems. Smith read two poems inspired by personal online dating sites. She created personas from those ads, which could possibly remind yourself of someone you know. Mardavich, who began by pronouncing her love of the internet, also read a couple of poems. One poem was from another poet, and the other written by herself and inspired by search engine results. 
Natty Forsythe “Rick-rolls” the crowd as he read an original prose, “Last Train Out of Reality Land,” as another poet animatedly narrated a story about his “first Black stranger guy fist pump.” The night rolled by as everyone mingled over beer and gag gifts picked out of a bag by the veejay, Mitch Manning.
When asked which poets inspire their own work, every individual picked a different muse. “T.S. Eliot when I’m writing silly poems,” said Zimmermann.
Mardavich stated, “I have so many. I think right now it would be Ann Boyer. She’s a really amazingly talented poet, and she’s really concerned with our social and political issues.” 
“My go-to would be Sylvia Plath or Anne Carson. Everything she writes is totally different from everything else. It’s intimidating but inspiring,” said Karen Locascio, who read a couple of her own poems. One in particular, “Babes for Macho,” was inspired by a Russian bride website.
Kate Carito, who came as a guest and did not read, thought, “It was an amazing reading. I liked the internet theme and appreciate the humor.”
The next open mic event will be held at the Savin Hill Bar and Grill, located off of Dorchester Ave., on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Check out the official Write on the DOT Facebook page for more information.