Step up to the mic, please

By Shaniece Lewis
Times-News correspondent

"Lady Blue" performs during open mic night at Churchill's Bar and Lounge on Elm Street in Greensboro on Feb. 22. Scott Muthersbaugh / Times-News

GREENSBORO — A cold, rainy night couldn’t stop the beautiful prose that awaited the crowd at Churchill’s Lounge on Elm on Feb. 22.
Poetry is an understatement for what takes place at this venue every fourth Friday night. Late Night Lyrics and National Poetry award winner CEO Janelle “Princess Of Poetry” Strickland, serves as host for  a phenomenal event featuring artists and entertainers who showcase both their verbal and physical talents for the entire community to enjoy.
“We also have other events that include open mic night, and we’ll highlight feature poets, bands and artists as well,” notes CEO Janelle, otherwise formally known as “Princess.” “I am a faith-based love poet, and have been writing and performing for 30 years. After a tremendous battle with cervical cancer and being a 3-time cancer survivor, I woke up one day and realized that I

could use my own interest in poetry and turn it into a profound business that will leave a legacy behind that’s not only positive and entertaining, but a sense of ministry.”
The doors to the lounge opened at 8:30; eager visitors, strident music and flashing photography and disco lights set the Late Night Lyrics stage for all of the theatrics that were set to take place during this special “Lover’s Lane Edition,” (which is only held once a year during the month of February, due to the nature of its content).
Local comedian, Simpli Net, opened the show with a few jokes to warm up the crowd, paid special homage to the CEO Princess, and begins to introduce the open mic artists that will be “gracing the stage.”
“Most poets come out at night for a comfortable atmosphere to perform their art. We’ve doing shows here for almost a year and are still going strong,” Princess explained. She then performed an introductory poem entitled, “I Am Poetry,” allowing newcomers to hear the talents she endows of live spoken word.
Love, anger, sensual romanticism, songs of hurt, inspiration and even eroticism; several forms of poetic depth filled the room and captivated everyone’s ears while opening their minds to fun, realism, art and fantasy all through poetry. Some of the performers and spotlight artists included Maurice and Cardiair (who also brought along 30 remarkable open mic artists from Fayettville) and the featured artist renowned for her illustrious erotic writings and performances, Queen. In addition to the stage talents, finger snaps, laughter and crowd praises fill the room during and after each artist approaches the mic.
Queen, accompanied by her assistants holding fireworks and dropping rose petals onto the floor to declare her path; this heightened the crowd’s interest as it begin to take notice of the erotic storyteller.
Queen’s poetic verse flow was supplemented with instrumental musical melodies, which created a sensual ambiance for the audience to enjoy. The event ended a little after 1 a.m., with an after party that followed to celebrate every artistic performer and the show’s success.
“I strongly believe in sewing into the hopes and talents of others to grow a family,” Princess said. “We are a family here and we use a lot of the proceeds to support local and national causes also. We push a cause with every show to support an event or someone in the community while working with integrity and providing great entertainment.”

 For more information about performances or local artists and venues, email; “Like” them on or call (336) 517-7255. The website is currently under construction.

Shaniece Lewis is a senior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.





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