College hosts Open Mic night |

College hosts Open Mic night

Susan Wood
Suzanne Robertson reads "Mother Keeps Daddy on the Shelf." Susan Wood / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Samantha Daugherty of South Lake Tahoe used her gift to tell others about another, her baby brother Hunter.

Samantha, 12, was one a handful of people who read poetry Friday night at Lake Tahoe Community College’s first Open Mic night to celebrate an old art form experiencing a recent resurgence. Most readers spun stories of their childhood.

Flushed in the face but brave enough to stand before 20 attentive adults, the South Tahoe Middle School student pulled out “A Little Means A Lot” from her book. Hunter is described as a “little jewel from Jesus – a little girl’s dream come true.”

Samantha, who’s written poetry for a year, said she likes the creative writing style because it allows her to express her feelings. She reads her creations to her friends. Open Mic, which marked National Poetry Month in April, enabled her to reach out to strangers.

In “Window of the Past,” she shared the beauty of daydreaming as a child.

With the imagery of the wooded scenery of Tahoe as a backdrop, Samantha led listeners on a journey.

The effect is just the type of trip for the senses presentable poetry tries to accomplish, without losing its individual unique quality, LTCC instructor and event organizer Suzanne Robertson said.

“Stark images, language used in surprising ways – but a good poem for me may not be the same for you,” she said.

Robertson didn’t disappoint.

“Science Project” declared the parallel between death and science, equating “roly-poly bugs in a pink shoe box” near their end to her father’s passing.

LTCC English instructor Jan Koenen turned her attention to her childhood as well.

In “Rain in the Morning,” Koenen highlighted an innocent rivalry with the girl across the street “in the house with no weeds and a swimming pool.”

The suburbs entered her mind after three decades. She shared the thoughts in the style of famed poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

“Rain, wash away that stale jealousy in me that still hates the memory of her perfect shoes,” she read to the chuckles of the audience in the fine-dining hall.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 541-3880 or via e-mail at

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