It began when two young men discovered each other by way of their poems in high school. They found a likeness in their voices impossible to ignore, so they started working and writing, pushing each other, often shouting down the opposite’s throat to ensure their creative process remained ceaseless. They would sit and write, do it all wrong, attend readings, and eventually hosted together. The two were Cyrus Sepahbodi and David Gale, now the standing members of Mad About Ink and hosts of the Lamplight Poetry Reading.

In the early days, they were drunk off the necessity to create and began starting readings wherever they could whether it was in public parks, backyards, or parking lots. Swigging from a trunk-o-car saloon and rambling late into the night, often these guerilla readings were followed by long writing assemblies where they learned to appreciate the sound of multiple typewriters running at once across the page– the fastest version of a heartbeat. These word of mouth readings slowly grew and as they took on students and talked shop with anyone who took an interest they found their first venue and began The Verity Room Poetry Reading late in 2005. This continued for two years and eventually underwent its metamorphosis into a new reading series called The Worst Poetry Reading, which continued until the end 2007 before the two took a break from hosting readings.

From here they went into hiding from the hosting world. Honing their craft and reforming their methodologies, they went back to their studies, and while briefly bursting out for a feature here or there they mostly shut themselves inward to the work. They took off, played music, traveled, let the wreck of existence shake its branches and tumble experience on top of them.

This continued until 2013 when both were satisfied with their schooling and misadventures. The dust had settled, and neither of them liked it that way. It was time to unbutton the extra button. There was a defining moment when a crack in complacency led them to a new idea, a brave a new aesthetic and a need create a fresh space for poetry. By April of 2014 a venue had fallen into their lap and the Lamplight Poetry Reading was born in the backroom of The White Harte. Since that day, it continues to grow like a wonder before their eyes. After injecting their spirit and philosophy into the space it seems to readily take flight and self-sustain every other Sunday night.

It is a defining act to stand on a stage and claim it, to call the attention of strangers and peers. It is what Cyrus and David live for, that unending challenge to grow ever more honest in the art of expression. They continue to push for it whether it be a golden sentence, the perfect night of poetry, or that haggard moment of bliss wherein the gut you feel the unseen knife of truth start a fire against your bones as if they were flint and the bodies of an audience kindling and chopped wood.

Let the story burn on the way out of the mouth. Let it live boldly in the great wide open of tomorrow. In the ears of those who listen nothing is entirely forgotten.


Founders David Gale & Cyrus Sepahbodi