The 3rd event of the 3rd season of London Open Mic Poetry Night was a rousing success with 48 in the audience to experience Sarnia's Debbie Okun Hill read her poetry and listen to all 18 open mic readers.
Fran Figge, current president of The Ontario Poets Society (TOPS), introduced Hill, who has long been on the executive of the large Ontario association herself. Hill's reading received huge applause, as did her responses to questions that followed. (You can hear all of it in this video, courtesy of Kenny Khoo.)
Dec. 3rd was an experiment in one sense. We've always had live music at our events, in the half hour before the poetry begins and during the intermission. However, we've had complaints that the music is so loud as to make it difficult for audience members to converse. Since part of the reason for London Open Mic's existence is to provide a space for London's poets to get together and to get to know each other, we decided to try an event with only the restaurant's piped-in music. A poll after the intermission showed that many more appreciated the quietude than wanted the music restored. So from now on that's the way it will be.
Another change: We have normally limited our open mic readers to 15, who finish reading between 9:00 and 9:30. But since we consistently have more than 15 who want to read, and since Mykonos stays open till 11:00, we have decided to change our policy and let everyone who wants to read do so. However, we will make sure they understand that anyone who signs up after the first 15 slots are filled will be reading to a reduced audience of only those who can keep going that late. In other words, it's still best to get there early enough to sign up in the first 15. This time we had 18 readers.
Of the 18 open mic readers, those who gave us permission to videotape them were Fran Figge, Stan Burfield, Paul Stones, Chantelle Cressman, Michael Goodliffe, Shelly Harder, Jim Kogelheide, Andreas Grippe, Kevin Heslop, Martin Hayter, and Michael O'Connor. Their videos are all on our YouTube channel.
Videography by Kenny Khoo. www.kennykhoo.com