Lyrical Sanctuary

Lyrical Sanctuary: Be inspired. Speak your mind. Leave an impression.

Lyrical Sanctuary is UWM’s monthly open mic night, featuring a standout spoken word artist, live music and art, and YOU! It is a campus tradition that brings students and community members together to share their passion for poetry and creative self-expression. Prior to each performance, the monthly featured artist leads a creative writing workshop open to anyone willing to put their pen to the page.  

Various Wednesdays | Workshop, Open Mic & Performance
7-7:45pm | Writing Workshop | Inclusive Excellence Center (Union 119)
8-10pm | Open Mic & Performance | UWM Union Fireside Lounge
Free and open to the public.


Lyrical Sanctuary Features for Spring 2023

Melissa Dunmore
Brooklyn, NY | Wednesday, February 8

About the feature:

Melissa Dunmore is a guardian of diasporic narratives and matriarch-in-training. A spoken word artist, writer, and intersectional scholar of social justice originally from Brooklyn, New York with roots in rural Puerto Rico, she transplanted to the Arizona desert nearly twenty years ago.  Melissa’s poetry and prose are published in three anthologies: Bar Flies: True Stories from the Early Years (2019), Black Lives Have Always Mattered (2017), and Songs of Yemaya (2017). 



Donavan Jackson
Milwaukee, WI | Wednesday, March 15

About the feature:

Donavan Jackson was born and raised on the north side of Milwaukee, Don Jay Live made his first appearance as a spoken word artist in 2011. While attending the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, he would share a new piece at every Black Student Union meeting as an announcement for the org he co-founded. “Live” is an ode to Don Jay’s ability to capture audiences in that setting. Follow his journey everywhere now, @DonJay_Live. 



Michaela Lacy
Milwaukee, WI | Wednesday, April 12

About the feature:

Michaela Lacy is a 23-year-old black woman who centers herself in working towards black liberation and joy. Her primary skill is creative thinking, and she uses that to produce art, engage in conversation and support others in moving towards self-advocacy. Michaela is a Milwaukee native and Public Allies Milwaukee Alum. She is passionate about writing and has been published in many poetry anthologies. She is the owner and proprietor of Sacred Garden open Mic, Milwaukee’s first youth run open mic. To keep up with her, please add Michaela Lacy or @lilbantu_knot on all social media platforms


Lyrical Sanctuary presents Student Showcase 
Wednesday, May 3

About the showcase:

Celebrate the talent of UWM student artists at our 11th Annual Student Showcase! Selected student artists collectively headline the final Lyrical Sanctuary event of the school year. It will be a fun night of poetry, music and workshops you don’t want to miss! 


For more information about all Lyrical Sanctuary events contact:
John Contreras
Sociocultural Programming Manager
(414) 229-6998

Sponsored by Sociocultural Programming