green mill

Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam

The slam and open mic at The Green Mill wasn’t the first out-of-town open mic I hit, but it did happen before I officially declared my goal to get to one in every state. It was a crazy-lucky coincidence. One of those things that comes together easy... I was on work travel, did a quick online search, and discovered that the man who started the whole slam thing back in the ‘80s—Slampapi Marc Kelly Smith—still hosts one every Sunday night. And I happened to have Sunday night free. My colleague was game, so after a fabulous … Read More...

Stars Theater and Arts Center

Fuquay-Varina, NC — Third Thursday Open Mic

The longest-running open mic in the Triangle surely owes its place in the record books both to the devotion of regulars and to the writerly triumvirate that runs it: three women with diverse writing styles, preternatural organizational skills, and a level of sass to which I aspire. This week, I was invited—along with a fellow poet and former cohost of my own erstwhile open mic—to give a 30-minute reading/event. The event part being that we were to talk a bit, at least vaguely instructively, about spoken word and performance … Read More...

Stage at Tate Street Coffee House in Greensboro, NC

the motley glory of open mic venues

After 5 years of reading at open mics, I haven’t seen it all but I’ve seen a lot. So far, I’ve read in 14 cities, across eight states, mostly at bars and coffee shops, but also a few community arts centers, art galleries, a grilled cheese shop, and a museum. Somehow I haven’t yet read at a library or a bookstore, but expect that’ll happen as my quest continues. As I look for open mics across the country, a unique venue is a huge draw. One I’m hoping to get to this June doesn’t even have a venue—just a street corner in San Francisco. That … Read More...

poems for badges

PoMoSco and National Poetry Month

Ah, poets, we do get excited about April, don’t we? After years of avoiding challenges like Robert Lee Brewer's Poem-a-Day, I finally tripped over a project I can get geeked about. The editors at Found Poetry Review are launching something they call PoMoSco, putting their own twist on the prompt-writing game. A twist that calls out my competitive  nature, feeds my semi-addition to social media and my confirmed addiction to novelty, and may even give me an excuse to buy office supplies. They promise bizarre prompts involving white-out … Read More...

Two writers walk into a bar...

Durham, NC — Two Writers Walk Into a Bar

Some mics are more open than others. On the second Tuesday of each month, at West End Wine Bar in Durham, this brilliantly named reading series pairs one poet and one prose writer, scheduled in advance, for about a half hour each. After failing to catch this one for months, I finally made it last week—with the extra motivation of hearing a fellow poet/friend from a now mostly disbanded (but still friendly) critique group. Much as I love performing and the rapid-fire feel of an open mic, I have to say, it was a really nice change of … Read More...

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