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WNP features local artist, entrepreneur

April 6, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Hot Springs artist, writer, singer and entrepreneur Karina Jo Martinez will be tonight's feature poet for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee + Tea, 110 Central Ave.

The regular open mic session for all poets, musicians, and storytellers will begin at 6:30 p.m. Martinez will begin her feature set at 7:15 p.m., followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Born in Rock Falls, Illinois, and raised in Phoenix and Hot Springs, Martinez is a graduate of Cutter Morning Star High School, and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas, with a focus on Theatre and Creative Writing.

"I'm a Wanderlust Artist, energy worker, and manifestation coach. I adore learning, music and writing. I came back to Hot Springs after college because of the artistic buzz and access to nature. I'm a single gal spending most of my time with my dog, Zoe! I also appreciate spending time with my mom, granny, and brothers who live in town," she said in a news release.

"Since childhood, I was fascinated with how we could paint stories and articulate emotions through words and melody," Martinez said when asked about her connection to poetry and music.

"I was 6 years old with a little clip radio, headphones, and a notebook trying to break down the pattern in songs that I was starting to recognize so I could write my own. Once I finished that song and sang it in front of my class, I was mesmerized with the idea of creating, expressing and sharing. My poetry and music hold a lot of heart confessions. They express my unique lens on the human experience, processing emotions, beliefs, feelings, actions and connections. The more I experience the polarity of life, the more I want to snapshot different perspectives and moments into words or songs," she said.

"I'm currently working on my first book of poetry. My original play 'Nook of Your Mind' was produced at UCA in 2016. I have performed as an actress at The Bathhouse Dinner Theatre, University of Central Arkansas, The Pocket Theatre, The Poets Loft, touring projects, and several films including 'New West' coming out this summer," she said.

"Wednesday Night Poetry as always seemed like this magical, honest, safe and creative space to me. I found WNP when I was about 14 from a play I was in, being produced at The Poets Loft. I loved watching everyone share on stage," she said. "This will be my first time in adulthood to share my original music live in this way. It's one of those things I admired so much I made it very outside of myself and I'm excited to change that narrative with such a powerful community."

"I met Karina a few years ago at a writing workshop I held at Emergent Arts, and I was moved by her skills as a writer, such a deep soul," WNP host Kai Coggin said in the release. "I also have seen the incredible mandalas she creates, vibrating with vibrant color and intricate details. She has the ability to transmute art to spirit, so I am so excited to have her feature for us this week, and I can't wait to hear her music!"

This week marks 1,732 consecutive Wednesdays of open mic poetry in downtown Hot Springs since Feb. 1, 1989. "WNP is the longest-running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country, now recently in partnership with Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, to share in the mission to spread arts awareness in our local community," the release said. Email [email protected] for more information.

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