Stan Burfield, organizer
Everything came together perfectly for the first time in our three seasons. A great introduction by John Tyndall and a wonderful reading by feature Patricia Black were only the first, large stepping stones across the pond. The next step was so easy it wasn't even noticed by most people: It was the lack of loud, live music, which has always in the past seriously hampered the buzz of conversation. The audience was too busy talking to notice it was missing. This was the first time, as well, in which we used two co-hosts during the one event. I opened it with a subdued, straight-forward introduction to the evening and, when Patricia was finished reading and all the questions and answers had come to a halt, the other co-host, Joan Clayton, stepped forward and her energy took the open mic section to the next level. Her introductions to the readers and her little comments after them also helped to unify the event. And then luck added its own finishing touches to this particular event: The progression of open mic readers was so perfect, each in exactly the right place to only add to and not subtract from those on either side, that a newby to the series could easily have thought it had all been planned. When it was over, it felt perfect. We stood around in the glow of it, not wanting it to end. Linda and I packed up and slowly headed home. I spotted a MacDonald's and we stopped and sat in the car for half an hour licking ice cream cones and chatting about the people and the readings and this little community of poets we're a part of.
Stan Burfield, organizer
Canadian poetry legend Frank Davey
The first four months of London Open Mic Poetry Night's first season have been a success, with the last event, on Jan. 3rd, featuring John Tyndall, drawing a crowd of fifty to the terrace at the Mykonos Restaurant, even more than attended the series' launch. We're optimistic that the remaining five months of the season will be just as upbeat.
We've made good use of the first four events to test out and then toss out ideas that sounded much better in an excited discussion than they actually worked on the floor. In the process we ended up with a leaner, simpler event, composed
In the beautiful Greek terrace at Mykonos restaurant, there will be lots of open mic, harp music like you’ve never heard before Celtic with song, and London’s own John Tyndall reading from his latest book of
At 6:30, JENNIFER WHITE will open the evening with her incredibly lovely Celtic harp and vocals, performing her own work, accompanied by percussionist Robert McMaster. You can hear a sample of their music here: http://www.knockgrafton.com/contents.html
At 7:00 long-time Londoner JOHN TYNDALL comes on, reading from his latest book, ‘The Fee for Exaltation’. Tyndall’s spare, image-rich poetry reflects an interest in family, love, religion and traditions. There will be a Q&A. Our interview with him: http://www.londonpoetryopenmic.com/1/post/2012/12/john-tyndall-interview.html
We have doubled the length of our OPEN MIC this time to two hours. At five minutes per reader (which is roughly two big pages of poetry - but time yourself at home), that’s 24 readers. In case there aren’t that many, we will have A SECOND ROUND, so bring two five-minute batches if you would like to. If so, just write ‘yes’ in the appropriate space on your ballot when you enter.
There will be an intermission during the open mic, after which we will pick the winners of our three RAFFLE PRIZES. These will include Tyndall books and broadsheets. Everyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night will receive a raffle ticket.
WHERE: Mykonos Restaurant terrace, 572 Adelaide St. N., London. Wheelchair accessible; cover is by donation. Overflow parking available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
The terrace is enclosed and well-heated from above, but in cold weather there can be cool air at floor level so WEAR WARM FOOTWEAR.
John Tyndall will be the featured poet at the Jan. 3rd (Thurs.) 2013 London Open Mic Poetry Night. As usual, it will be held in the terrace of Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. N. London, from 6:30 to 9:30. The first half hour will feature the celtic harp and vocals of Jennifer White and the percussion of Robert McMaster. Tyndall will be followed by one to two hours of open mic.
A Londoner since 1967, Tyndall has been published in several anthologies, and many journals. Reflecting an interest in family, love, religion and traditions, his two recent collections, one with poems about the birth and childhood of his son, the second (2006) his family history as well as the illness and death of his mother, have been praised by the University of Toronto Quarterly for the use of "strange and iridescent language". Tyndall also will be reading newer works, both found poems based on an obscure book from 1947 and narratives in various voices, including that of his late father.
SB: How and why did you get started writing poetry?