We have always been a single-event organization run by a single organizer. But during this month, April, 2016, which is coincidentally National Poetry Month, we are breaking out of that mould, becoming a multi-event organization with each event run by its own organizer.
And now, instead of the one central organizer trying to plan every detail, which is only possible to a certain extent, at least without causing seriously debilitating anxiety, he is stepping back to allow others to take over the planning of their own spin-off events
This relaxation, openness, and "spontaneous" growth of new events and poetic happenings could continue indefinitely, as more people become aware of us, are excited by the possibilities, and create their own ideas. And the more that poetry becomes a part of the landscape of London, the more people will begin to see it everywhere, and not only throughout the city, but also in the community-building social media. Poetry could become the fashionable art of London.
It would follow that this rapid growth in quantity (as we create more spaces for poetry, and so excite more people) could provide a rich breeding ground for changes in quality as well.
Thanks to an idea by Frank Beltrano, we will launch a series of readings in the Chapters book store near the White Oaks Mall, probably in May. At each monthly event, organizer Andy Verboom will be pairing one of the featured poets who has earlier read at our four-season series at Mykonos Restaurant with a lesser-known poet who has not yet been published in book form. Andy is in the process of working out the format but it will include readings by each poet (a longer one by the featured reader), some form of conversation between the two, and of course questions from the audience. These new organizing ideas are so exciting that we may try to adapt them to the larger stage at Mykonos.
We are launching an E-journal, wherein each month the open mic readers at our events will publish one of the poems they read that month (if they would like to), along with a photo of them reading it. Also, the featured poet's three poems, interview and bio would be included, and possibly those of the poets reading at that month's Chapters event. The organizers (publishers, editors) of this publication are Koral Scott and Christine Ellwood.
Our already-announced series of Guerrilla Poetry readings in the central library (if it goes as planned) will have a spin-off in the Chapters book-store near White Oaks mall. It will be organized and hosted by Brittany Renaud. (The original series in the central library down-town is launching this Saturday, April 23rd, at 2 pm.)
London Open Mic Poetry is rapidly changing from a Mykonos event series into an umbrella organization. It now has eleven members. Projects that have been put off for lack of people to run them may soon be launched by new people who may want to work with us in the future.
For instance, we need someone to head our Prison Poetry project, a woman (since it would be in the women's prison in the Kitchener area) who has the time, the energy, the right expertise, and who has experience dealing with institutions.
We need people to try to start workshops and possibly open mics in other long-term care institutions.
We need someone to promote with the city our idea of having city workers stamp impressions of poems into side-walk areas as they are being repaired. This has been done successfully in St. Paul, Minnesota.
We need people to carry out our dream of exciting the city's high-school English students in poetry, possibly by means of a city-wide contest.
As London Open Mic Poetry grows in size, its abilities are also growing. For instance, we now have a social media expert on board, Koral Scott, who is reorganizing our presence on the internet to make it more effective.
We're open to people and their ideas. We're no longer just imposing our own.