The annual music and poetry festival, The World of Atlas Black, visited the city of Columbus last weekend. The event, hosted by poetry publishing company, Secret Midnight Press, took place at Skully’s. People traveled in from all over the country to see the magic that is Atlas Black come to life.
The music and poetry event was challenged by a power outage, but organizers Jesse Cale and Ashley Dun were quick to find a solution. The pathway to the outside area, through a dark venue, was lit by candles. This fit the theme perfectly, as Atlas Black is about creatives coming together in the shadows cast by the world that Atlas carries on his shoulders. “Follow the light into the darkness” was a slogan that Secret Midnight Press made happen.
Outside, there were all sorts of characters and activities, from a stilt walker to a body painter to biodegradable wish balloons. To take part in one of the activities, people had to exchange creative currency (a drawing, a poem, any form of art). Visitors also got a chance to read their own poetry, on a pop-up stage outside.
Nothing is too crazy within the World of Atlas Black. Dressing up and expressing yourself was encouraged, which showed in the breathtaking costumes that were worn by various people there. If you had anything on your mind, you could send up a message to Atlas with a balloon, or write it on a chalkboard. It was also easy to find a shoulder to cry on and to make new friends. Secret Midnight Press has created quite a unique community of feelers, who came together for this event.
The events outside were accompanied by music by Isabelle Hyde, Rusty Clanton, and Give Me Motion (Dante). Without a microphone these artists had to battle against the loud generator of the hotel next door. They did a good job at that, and the music carried the crowd inside.
Once the power was luckily restored, there were poetry performances by Lee Martens, Ashley Dun, and Jesse Cale inside the venue. It was wonderful to watch how language formed a bond between the performers and the audience and also between the audience members themselves. During the performances, Secret Midnight Press announced three upcoming releases for 2018: a debut poetry collection by Lee Martens, a second full length book by Ashley Dun, and Jesse Cale’s second full length book.