Anna on the road

Next Up: A Mid-State Trifecta…and a Homecoming

It's been 12 years since I've been back home. But next month, that unintended record finally gets broken. If all goes as planned, in 8 days I’ll make 4 open mics in 3 states. For extra poetic value, I’ll squeeze in a daylong walkabout in my hometown, a stretch of time with my best friend from middle school and beyond, and a little exploring with a favorite fellow poet in his own home city. It's the most ambitious leg of this ad hoc tour so far, hands down. My mom thinks it's nuts. And I know it's not going to be relaxing. But I’m just not … Read More...

Venue on 35th

Norfolk, VA — The Venue on 35th

My first preference in any city is an open mic with some legs. The one that’s been around the longest. At 8 years running, the Venue on 35th definitely has the record for Norfolk, probably Virginia, and for all I know the Eastern Seaboard. The Venue itself is a community arts center where they teach workshops like "Acting for Poets." Anchor tenant in a neighborhood on the verge of something. Not that it needs more local love—their standing Monday night come-one-come-all is so popular, they add stage seating to keep the aisle clear for the … Read More...

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Oakland Poetry Slam and Wide Open Mic

The Awaken Café is so California, they declare 4 days a week to be wi-fi free. Little signs on the tables remind you what people did in coffee shops in the pre-router days—reading, for example, or conversing. On certain Thursdays, Awaken patrons also can (and do) support the live arts, as our host Dre pointed out, at the monthly poetry night. With a dedicated stage, overhead speakers, and the no-nonsense DJ Kate filling the space between poets, it’s probably the best coffee shop venue I’ve seen (and that's saying something). Like the … Read More...

last goodbyes (for the Hubble Space Telescope)

science poetry on the fly

What better way to close out National Poetry Month than joining three fellow poets and an astrophysicist to write poems inspired by the Hubble Space Telescope? Okay, maybe that's not everyone's idea of a bangin' good time, but this poet is all about it. To recognize the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th year in orbit, the  North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences brought in a bona fide Hubble Fellow from NC State University to speak at their regular Science Cafe series. And they invited poets to listen and write a poem inspired by … Read More...

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National Poetry Month: Halfway Through (and then some)

Earlier this month I shared some of my initial takeways from the Found Poetry Review’s monthlong challenge affectionately known as PoMoSco. Granted, it’s not over yet, but I have more poetic waters behind me so an update seems appropriate.... I’m getting the hang of turning out a sharable first draft in a single sitting. This is good, because on April 30, I'll do the last challenge prompt live at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, writing a poem based on a presentation about the Hubble space telescope and reading it for the … Read More...

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