The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre diverged from its usual programming on Friday to host the Rise Poetry Event, which showcased a group of poets who sometimes touch on intersectional themes.
The event was put on by a collaboration of various artists, but many would agree that Joe Montano III was the inspiration behind the event.
Montano is a poet and artist who is self-publishing his first book of poetry. He helps run the collective Balboa Poet House, which aims to produce quality work and hosts workshops.
The night started out low key, with a DJ spinning a jazzy version of The Door’s “Light My Fire” while performing poet, Joel Joelskii Salcido danced in front of the stage.
Just a few minutes behind schedule, Deborah Berman-Montano took the stage and introduced herself as the hostess of the evening. She was later joined by Ernesto Moncada, a Mexican-born, downtown Phoenix resident and author. Montano would usually introduce the performing acts in English, then pass the microphone to Moncada who introduced them in a quickly-translated and enthusiastic Spanish.
The performers for the night were mostly poets, with the exception of a single dancer. But the event was not monotonous and each poet performed in a different style, range and tone than the last.