Open Mic ft. Susan Vespoli

Saturday, February 17th | 2 p.m.

Join us at the Peregrine on Saturday, February 17th at 2pm for a very special Open Mic, featuring poet Susan Vespoli.

After the feature reading, the mic will be open to all readers, as always! Spoken Word Open Mic is a monthly event featuring poetry and short prose. We welcome all readers, performers, and listeners. Bring your friends, and maybe that journal you scribble in sometimes when the inspiration hits.


About the Book & Author

Susan Vespoli believes in the power of writing to heal, even from the most devastating, tragic, and unjust events such as the death of her son, Adam, who was killed by a Phoenix police officer, Donnell Lindo, on March 12, 2022. 

Adam had struggled with addiction, but was making strides in his recovery, having found solace in a church, and volunteering at their food bank. Adam wanted to become a street minister and spent time preaching/passing out food and water/ and occasionally residing with struggling urban campers.

Vespoli claims writing has kept her sane. She wrote One of Them Was Mine, her book about Adam’s murder, in an obsessive flow of almost daily poems. Many editors of journals (Rattle, New Verse News, Anti-Heroin Chic, ONE ART, The Poetry Distillery, Plum Tree Tavern, and The Fieldstone Review), were eager to publish the poems and support the mission of telling Adam’s story and the tale of a police officer gone wrong, however not held accountable. Two of the poems in the book have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and the book has been nominated for The Eric Hoffer Book Award by its publisher, Kelsay Books.

Her poems are raw and fierce. After one poetry reading, a member of the audience came up to her, visibly upset, and demanded, “What makes you think it’s okay to write, publish, and read those kinds of poems?”

Vespoli replied and it is captured in one of her poems, as follows:
“Because I believe in telling the truth
with love and I believe we’re as sick as our secrets
and I believe burying your story can kill
you and I believe that writing it out can heal.”

Vespoli is donating profits from One of Them Was Mine to The National Coalition for the Homeless, Mothers Against Police Brutality, and other advocacy groups.

Susan Vespoli lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she relies on the power of writing to stay sane. Her work has been published in Rattle, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, New Verse News, and other cool spots. She has two previous poetry collections, Blame It on the Serpent (Finishing Line Press, Jan. 2022) and Cactus as Bad Boy (Kelsay Books, July 2022).

Event date: 

Saturday, February 17, 2024 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Event address: 

219A N Cortez St
Prescott, AZ 86301