Scott Beckett, the current Student Writer in Residence at UWO, has organized for London Open Mic a presentation by four of these senior English Literature students, all of whom love poetry.
They will do rounds of readings of their poems, each taking turns.
The first poem they will read was specially written for this event. Scott gave them three lines to be including in the poem, one as the title and two in the body of the poem.
The three lines are as follows;
- "When it was over"
- "____is like a tree and ___is like a shadow" (this is based on a quote by Abraham Lincoln)
- "it is foolish to turn off the heat"
The literary scene at Western is not huge, but it is vibrant. All four students have taken poetry courses offered by Kathryn Mockler and Madeline Bassnett, both of whom have read at London Open Mic. Nevertheless, according to Beckett, "there aren't really 'poetry students' per se at UWO: The writing faculty incorporates all writing forms, with creative writing just a fraction of that, because technical writing, speech writing, and courses like food and travel writing are all pretty popular among students."
Even though the campus doesn't place as much formal emphasis on poetry as it does many other subjects, the literary scene "is not necessarily just people who are taking classes," Beckett says, "but also people who are working on their writing outside of class, like students in programs that do not have space for writing courses, but are still writers. Groups like the Western Creative Writing Club and publications like the Arts and Humanities Student Council's 'Symposium' are not closed off to students who are not in the writing program or even the arts faculty." Also, the associated King's College has its own creative writing club.
The beginning of Scott Beckett’s writing history is full of stories with vivid beginnings. They expanded so large that they became unwieldy and were abandoned, usually in fear. It was not until high school that Scott returned to writing. Over four years of writing education at Western University, Scott has become more experienced in several forms, but poetry always seemed to come most easily. In second year he took a position at The Rusty Toque, the online literary journal, which greatly increased his interest in creative writing. In fourth, he was appointed the second Student Writer in Residence at the university, a position intending to give a student the means to contribute to the creative writing community at Western. Scott has published poetry in The Rusty Toque, Occasus, and Shorthand. He plans to continue seeking publication for his poetry, as well as working on prose projects in the coming months. He is also opening submissions for the first issue of the SWIR-affiliated literary journal Conpareo. -----
WHERE: All of our reading events except the April one are held in the Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario. The restaurant has a large, covered terrace just behind the main restaurant, which comfortably holds 60 poetry lovers. Mediterranean food and drinks are available. Overflow parking is available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
LIVE MUSIC opens each event, at least by 6:30. There is also an intermission with live music and usually more music at the end of the event.
THE FEATURED POETS begin their rounds of readings at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poets, there is about 1.5 hours of open mic, ending about 9:00 pm. Each poet has five minutes (which is about two good pages of poetry, but it should be timed at home). Sign up on the reader`s list, which is on the book table at the back. First come, first served.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked after the intermission. The prizes consist of poetry books donated by Brick Books and The Ontario Poetry Society. Donations are our only source of income. We still haven't paid off our initial debt.