We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Doriahna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
As a poet, I would love to be published in a multitude of literary journals, anthologies, and online journals. I currently work a regular 9 to 5 job, but I would love to become a full-time artist. I also would like to host an annual festival for poetry and the arts. I’m working towards all these goals by consistently writing, collaborating with other artists, submitting my work to various publications, and saving my money.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began my journey into poetry in 2004. I started just performing my poems at Magic Johnson’s Starbucks in Atlanta, GA. I started taking my poetry performances seriously in 2009. From there the sky has been the limit. I’ve made several FM radio appearances on V-103, performed my poem in a play, opened for the Nationally known dance company, Amazing Grace, hosted numerous art events in Atlanta and self-published my first chapbook, “I Grew as My Mother Fed Me.” Overall, my journey has been a blessed an easy one. The main lesson I would share with anyone is do not take criticism from anyone you wouldn’t take advice from on your journey. As a poet, I am a messenger of truth, first, then a performer. I try to leave my audience with a message to take with them after the show is over.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If my best friend were visiting me from out of town, I would take them to my favorite cafe, Urban Grind for a pepperoni panini. We would then go to my favorite comedy club, Uptown Comedy. Then we take a stroll on the Atlanta Beltline and perform some poetry for the folks walking along the way. I would take them to No Mas Mexican Restaurant for the trio tamales dinner and then to Piedmont Park. Atlanta has so many wonderful treasures for the introvert and extrovert. If you’re an art lover there’s the High Museum, The Civil Rights Museum, and the Alliance Theatre. There are dozens of respectable poetry events and open mics. There is no such thing as bored. I believe your life is like a book it’s up to you whether your story is boring or an adventure.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I like to shoutout my mother and father who have always encouraged me to read growing up and they showered me with books. Reading is so fundamental for children, and it shapes our creativity and imagination. I also like to give a shoutout to Alfred “Nfared” Vines who recommended me to host a popular poetry open mic night, at Urban Grind Cafe. My night was called “4th Thursdays with Lauren Doriahna” and I hosted the event from 2011-2016, By hosting this event, I was able to expand my network nationally. N’fared is a phenomenal poet and person and I appreciate that he believed in my hosting abilities.