‘This is therapy, like meditation,’ Oklahomans express themselves through weekly poetry nights

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Every Wednesday night, ICE Event Center and Grill provides Oklahomans an avenue to express themselves through poetry and spoken word.

It’s an opportunity for people to share their hearts, minds and souls.

'Dope Poetry' is a weekly event started back in 2016 as a way to fill a void of poetry nights in Oklahoma City.

“We decided to go ahead and make it happen, make it a nice free event where people are able to come out, and just express themselves and get everything on their chest out,” said co-host J. Wiggins.

Everyone is welcomed to go watch and listen as others share.

People are also encouraged to get on stage, whether it’s your first time or a veteran to the stage.

Wiggins said it’s important to make everyone feel loved and encouraged, because it’s hard for someone to "recite a poem in front of a bunch of strangers."

“Poetry has always been an emotional outlet for everyone. Unfortunately, a lot of times, the very first poem people write is generally a heartbreak poem and, from there, they move to other things they have going on in life,” Wiggins said.

Nothing is off-topic on Wednesday nights.

Stories ranging from one’s first love, the pain of an absent parent or social issues are topics people can expect during a night of what some are calling "therapy."

Co-host Anthony Crawford was one of the first poets to perform when ICE Events Center started 'Dope Poetry.'

ICE Event Center's owner, Marc Flemon, invited him to perform and host on a regular.

Crawford said he started writing poetry as a way to get through a rough patch in his life.

He said performing every Wednesday is where he can release himself and it truly is "like meditation" for himself and others.

“The best thing to me is seeing them come out of their shells. It’s hard getting on stage in front of people and expressing something that you bury deep inside yourself. It’s the emotions, it’s the passions, it’s the love that you want to get out there for others to hear you. And, here (at ICE), we hear you,” Crawford said.

Wiggins said poetry is a "beautiful thing" and people get discouraged when asked if they would like to perform.

He said the response is always “I’m not a poet.”

Wiggens encourages people to use writing as an outlet for your heart and mind and said ICE Event Center can be their outlet to perform.

“ICE is simply the rose that grew from the concrete. That’s ICE right there. People, in the past, may have had a bad reputation about coming over to the east side of Oklahoma City. But, once you walk through those doors, you'll see and hear the most beautiful things you ever heard in your life,” Wiggins said.

ICE Event Center has weekly events for you to enjoy from poetry, karaoke and open mic nights.

Not only can you enjoy their daily events, but you can fuel your appetite with a full menu seven days a week.

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