Open Mics

UPDATE: We are back on a performance hiatus as a collective until an undetermined date. However, we are still active in the scene in other ways. Mark helps organize The Definitive Soapbox (TDSB) every last Friday of the month at The Mirage Cafe in Long Beach. Stephanie and Eddy are co-founders/organizers of Sunday Jump every 1st and 3rd Sunday at Kapistahan in Historic Filipinotown. We encourage self-expression over everything so please come support your poetry open mic spaces!



Next Sunday on May 19th as part of our Lineage Edition series, we will be honoring Carlos Bulosan, Filipino-American novelist and poet! Please bring your favorite poems by him to share so we can together celebrate his legacy.

“The old world is dying, but a new world is being born. It generates inspiration from the chaos that beats upon us all. The false grandeur and security, the unfulfilled promises and illusory power, the number of the dead and those about to die, will charge the forces of our courage and determination. The old world will die so that the new world will be born with less sacrifice and agony on the living…” - Carlos Bulosan

RSVP via Facebook here.

[ Posted on 5.12.13 / 2 notes ]
Tags:   #forword    #los angeles    #open mic    #poetry    #spoken word    #sunday jump    #the definitive soapbox    #Historic Filipinotown    #Filipino-American    #filipino    #LA    #open mics

forWord Movement: Projekt NewSpeak Interview by David A. Romero

The Mexi-Asian Perspective: A Latino’s Guide to All Things Latin, Asian, or Both

by David A. Romero

Many vie for the title of hardest working poet (or poets) in Los Angeles. Many claim the title of hardest working poet (or poets) in Los Angeles.  Every year sees the rise and fall of new venues and new, hungry artists making the rounds to fill them with their passion and drive.

For the past two years, for anyone with both functioning eyes and ears, the answer to which poets were dominating LA with their omnipresence was obvious: forWord.

This four member Asian Pacific American poetry collective could be seen from Hollywood to the Inland Empire, from Long Beach to Downtown Los Angeles and everywhere inbetween. Never before had a collective so effortlessly maintained features with open mic performances, group pieces with solo readings; managing to do all of it while loved by everyone they came across.

forWord members Eddy Gana Jr., Stephanie Sajor, Mark Maza and Susan Diep kicked off this year by performing at the 27th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference at their UC Irvine.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with forWord after the conference and witnessing their fun group dynamic in action. We had a chance to discuss their newest release, the chapbook Feel What We’re Saying.

How and when did you four poets decide to form the poetry super group forWord?


[ Posted on 2.29.12 / 9 notes ]

Friday Night was a Good Night

Ever since my work schedule was lightened up on Fridays, I have been able to make it to The Definitive Soapbox at the Royal Cup Cafe in Long Beach. I haven’t missed one yet since the beginning of this year, I think. For good reasons too because it is always fun to be immersed in positive energy with the open mic-ers, features, SOAP’ing, SPIT cards, and the food and drinks, which are absolutely delicious by the way. Support the local shops!

This open mic venue is certainly picking up steam. There is now an area right outside of the main room designated as the “Overflow,” which I think is awesome because it gives those there an identity and confirms that they are still as much part of the show as those inside in the front rows. TDSB has set up a TV outside to stream what is going on so the “Overflow” does not miss a single thing. They are looking for volunteers to be a part of their tech team, so if you’re interested, let them know at!

What happens after the open mic is just as dope too. People randomly spitting poems, sharing what they want. Laughter. Awkward silences broken by inside jokes. The sounds of cars driving past. The sidewalk being a stage for everyone. Good times definitely all around.

(Insert picture of Susan skipping away to avoid the SPIT card)

(insert picture of Big Brotha bringing back a poem out from retirement)
(insert picture of Kevin Mai doing the body roll)

Anyways, I personally just wanted to give it up to TDSB because it helps keeping me sane with a schedule filled with classes, meetings, events, and work. Y’all should check it out if you are in the Long Beach area. TDSB goes down on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Royal Cup Cafe. Visit. That is all.

- Eddy M. Gana Jr.

[ Posted on 2.26.12 ]
Tags:   #the definitive soapbox    #open mic    #venue    #long beach

Open Mic: the definitive soapbox featuring Halle Johnson

The Definitive Soapbox, 2nd/4thFriday @ Royal Cup Cafe

Featuring: Halle Johnson…
…is an emerging singer, songwriter and musician based in Long Beach, CA. She hopes to set the trend in the current and future generation of music by evoking feelings of self-awareness, love, and respect through the genres of neo-soul, R&B, pop and rock. Her music is her diary; so listen closely to the life experiences that transcend through her lyrics.

994 Redondo Ave.
serving the city of Long Beach, California
We are in the back room!
7p — 9p
Open Mic

hosted by Paz1

always FREE
artist sign up 30 minutes before
try to come early

bring a pal
call antonio @ 619.709.2578 or Big Brother 562.826.6788
or email @
or search us on facebook: thedefinitivesoapbox

This is so last minute, but catch us here Friday! Maybe hear us on the mic? Either way, we will be there. Much love to The Definitive Soapbox!

[ Posted on 2.24.12 / 2 notes ]
Tags:   #the definitive soapbox    #long beach    #open mic    #forword news    #forword

forWord Feature: Don’t Censor My SP!T!

Tuesday, March 6th
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
At the Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 South Spring Street
, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Urban Theatre Movement’s increasingly popular Spoken Word Series: SP!T, is back and ready for the 2012 season!

Our voices won’t be Silenced!

A.L.Pharaoh - SP!T Slam Team
Aileen Alfaro
Antonio “Paz One” Appling Feat. Noize - The Definitive Soap Box Open Mic
Ashley Catharine - Brass Knuckles LA Slam Team
Brian “SuperB” Oliva - IE National Slam Team
Candace Nicholas-Lippman - Spoken Word Ministries
Caroline Chang - Uncultivated Rabbits
Chris D’Annunzio
Daryl Anthony Harper
Eddie “Edgar Allen Swole” Rojas
Eddy M. Gana Jr - forWord
Essence Brown - SP!T Slam Team
Marissa Pitts
Mark Rolston
Samantha Parks - SP!T Slam Team
Stephanie Sajor - forWord

Invite your friends! foes! family!

Directed By Alex Alpharaoh and Amery Ken Thao
Stage Managed By Caitlin Miller

Seats are $10 at the door
for more info hit us up

Two members of forWord, Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr. made it past auditions and will be in the Urban Theatre Movement’s next production! Stephanie and Eddy were former cast members in SP!T 2 with Mark Maza and subsequently SP!T 3 with Mark and Susan Diep representing in full force as forWord. Feels good to be home so please come through and support for the third time around the block!

This show is for everyone who values the freedom to express!

[ Posted on 2.21.12 / 3 notes ]
Tags:   #forword    #forword news    #forword feature    #spit    #SP!T    #latc    #los angeles theatre center    #SuperB    #uncultivated rabbits    #the definitive soapbox    #brass knuckles