Monday, 7 November 2016

Open Mike

We've always had an Open Mike to encourage participation, though listeners are welcome. It's a place to observe the first tentative moments in a poet's public life. Some dive straight in, others - like me - get one toe wet first and, if they survive that, they are set for life, the life of the poet.

The Open Mike is invariably after the break at the end of the guest poet's performance. Sometimes the guest stays on to enjoy and encourage. Often there's quite a number who'd like to read their own stuff or favourite poems of renown or obscurity. If the list is long we ask poets to restrict themselves to two or at most three short poems. This so everybody gets a chance to read or recite. If in doubt, ask the host if you want to read more than three poems. Be gracious if you are refused extra, and be gracious if you are not.

Off the Wall has been called a safe place. It is. It is not a slam. It's available to all. The great and the unknown read here. It's about poetry before ego.

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