At Poetic Soul, a Gathering Place for Phoenix Artists and Creatives

Qosmic QadenceEXPAND
Qosmic Qadence
Julio Lugo

For all the people looking for a space to share or hear new ideas and art, Poetic Soul is the place to be.

Citizens of Arizona can come to Stand Up Live every Wednesday from 7 to 11 p.m. for an open mic event that welcomes all forms of artistry. The weekly event gives locals a space where they can not only socialize, but experience a sense of togetherness and community.

Or, as the man behind the magic, Qosmic Qadence, puts it, “Poetic Soul is a melting pot of all things magic and all beings magic.”

As his website describes him, Muwwakkil Sabree Abdul-Qawwee, a.k.a. Qosmic Qadence, is a “poet, author, youth educator, community activist, and speaker, born and raised in Washington, D.C.” Qadence puts together Poetic Soul each week with help from former NFL player and entrepreneur Jimmy Kennedy, a.k.a. GRIZZ. As partners with Qadence, Kennedy wants to help give the people of Phoenix something new to do in the middle of their week.

“Both Qosmic and myself are from the East Coast," Kennedy says. "He’s from D.C., I’m from New York City, so we know the bigger cities and what’s expected in our hometowns. We’re trying to bring some East Coast flavor, some good vibes, good people, and good fun without any nonsense."

Qadence's vision stems from his passion for poetry and the arts in general. He believes poetry and other art forms allow people to express themselves, and used to put on “youth empowerment” seminars in schools across Arizona to help young people achieve this. Today, he provides a similar platform, but for the whole community.

“Unless we provide these spaces even for the larger-sized youth, which are adults these days," says Qadence, "then there’s no space for dialogue or there's no space for real, true growth. We just kind of internalize a bunch of things, so it’s very important to provide a safe space for people to be expressive and then to be open."

A woman performs at Poetic Soul,EXPAND
A woman performs at Poetic Soul,
Julio Lugo

For those who want to perform, signing up is on a first-come, first-serve basis and the night is limited to 20 slots. Any art is encouraged to be shared. The event can feature poets, rappers, singers, storytellers, dancers, and other artists. Each performer is allowed five minutes to share whatever it is they want to share.

“When I was coming here over a year ago. It was maybe about 70 or 80 people on average," says Stacy Renee Eden, a local artist. "Now, he’s breaking 200 like every week.”

Eden emphasized that Poetic Soul is not a place to party. “We have fun and get down ... it’s for people who are down to experience and to listen and pay attention, not talk over.”

At Poetic Soul, any artists starting out can easily expose themselves to over 100 people. With a crowd genuinely interested in their work, one can assume that this is a place where artists sharpen their skills. Qosmic thinks that watching the artists grow as performers is one of the most fulfilling and beautiful things about what he does. Eden is one of example of that magic.

“This is the first placed I’ve ever performed at," she says. "Since then, I really feel like I became a poet because this gave me a real platform to test out everything I’ve wanted to do and everything that I thought I could be."

This year, Eden won the city’s poetry slam title, dubbing her the Phoenix Poetry Slam Champion of 2018, and earned second place in the state competition. She even attended the National Team Slam Championship in Chicago, released a book and is expected to drop a hip-hop album later this year.

Poetic Soul gives artists the opportunity to network, collaborate, and help elevate culture in Phoenix. It is a home for everyone who wants to support and elevate the local music scene, and as Qadence put it, “If the scene in your city is an incredible scene, and you don't contribute to it, it's going to go away.”

“This is where most of the people who are working in the music industry in Arizona are coming every Wednesday," Eden says. "This is the spot.”

Poetic Soul. 8 p.m. Wednesdays at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street; 480-719-6100; phoenix.standuplive.com.

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