Poet melds words, music to share her works


Gainesville author and poet LaQianya Thompson Huynh performs at the Alachua County Library Headquarters.

Aida Mallard/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.

Gainesville author and poet LaQuianya Thompson Huynh delivered an afternoon of romantic and sensual poetry using music and dance accompaniments by local artists to tell her story and to convey her feelings and message.

More than 60 people attended the poetry performace, which opened with the poem, "Heart Beats," accompanied by musical instrumentation and a seductive dance by Jose Morales and Augustina Sayavedra of Ritmo Y Sabor Salsa Dance Studio, formerly the Salsa Caliente Studio.

The event was held Saturday afternoon at the Alachua County Library Headquarters in downtown Gainesville.

"Poetry is in the music you listen to and in your beating heart," said Thompson Huynh, whose romantic poetry addresses topics of happiness, abandonment, superficiality, desperation, love lost, love recaptured, death, anger, outward beauty, inhibitions, sexual tension and other topics.

Thompson Huynh, 35, is originally from McClenny and was 8 years old when her family moved to Bainbridge, Ga., where they lived until 1997, when she moved to Gainesville. She has two children, 15-year-old Umajeo "Joey" Tong and 10-year-old Sasha Tong.

Thompson Huynh works as a certified medical assistant for a Gainesville family practice. She also is a singer and dancer.

Each poem was accompanied by music provided by local and regional musicians and included the sounds of acoustic guitars, drums, a cello, violins, a clarinet and Huynh playing, at times, a tamborine, drum, castanets, maracas and other instruments.

The musicians who performed with Huynh are local and regional artists, who, like Thompson Huynh, perform at local venues, such as Sweet Mel's in downtown Gainesville; Coffee Culture on NW 13th Street; the 1982 Bar, also in downtown Gainesville; and the Civic Media Center on S. Main Street.

The performers were: Ben Derrico and Quinn Bass of Pristine Stringz, Dan Norman, Terry Wissel, Eli Tragash, Jeff Shapiro, Tristan Harvey, Jared Boock and David "Will" Welcome and also Jacksonville-based Alessandro De Angelis.

"We perform together at many places," Thompson Huynh said.

The dancers were Izabella Lipnharski, Jose Morales, Augustina Sayavedra and Koyi Hosaka of Ritmo Studio at the Unified Training Center on W. University Avenue.

Thompson Huynh read from her recent books, "Lovely Endearments" and "Compilations of Love," which were available for purchase and signed by the author. She recited and performed the following poems: "In My Dreams," "Grandpa's Blues," "Will She?" "Jungle Love," "Burning Ashes," "Night Song," "Emotional I am," "When Cloud Cry: Horror," "In Motion," "The Beggar," "Heart Beats," "Not My Skin," "Love Me Tenderly & Let Me Love You," "A Drift, I Do," and "Love is Beautiful."

"I'm inspired by my surroundings," Thompson Huynh said.

Jodie Patterson, librarian with the Alachua County Library District, called the program amazing. "She's so talented and multi-faceted," Patterson said.

"It was pretty amazing and overwhelming," said Ken Colen of Ocala. "A great collective of musicians who seemed to be totally in zinc with the artist."

Thompson Huynh usually performs at 8 p.m. on Sundays at Coffee Culture at 2020 NW 13th St.; 9 p.m. on Mondays at Sweet Mel's at 1 W. University Ave., and 9 p.m. on Thursdays at Civic Media Center at 433 S. Main St.

For more information, vist www.laqianya.com.

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