(I was tempted when I Googled how to organize an open mic to do it like one in New York, which has no rules at all, and no host. Just the guy who brings the mic. When he puts it on the stage, there's a mad dash by the audience for it. Whoever's fastest or strongest reads first, for as long as he likes. When he gets tired or booed out, there's another mad dash. It's like that all night. Not stressful to organize.)
In our case you make a mad dash, as soon as you enter, to the book table at the back, and hope theres a slot still available, then check off whether you want to give us permission to photograph you, and especially to videotape you (as some journals consider a simple videotape on the internet of a poetry reading as publication, even though they can't search it out (we don't put a title on it). Then you go sit down and listen to the live music, which will be nice this event, to be announced here in a few days.
Why's it going to be a full house?
Two big reasons.
First, the fairly new street newspaper, The Yodeller, is doing a substantial interview with me (Organizer Stan) and it will hit the curbs and gutters in one week, at the end of the month, which happens to be my birthday, although Jason Dickson, the writer, did now know that. 64 if you're interested. Dickson, is a novelist, poet, journalist, man about town. That interview will, I'm sure , drag a few people off the cold street into our Greek utopia.
Also, the social media is already going crazy over our February featured poet, which is actually four poets, all senior poetry students from UWO, who will do rounds of poetry, the first one written expressly for this event, a complex and fun feature organized by current UWO Student Writer in Residence Scott Beckett. Each first poem by each author will contain the same three lines, one being the title. How different can they be? Extremely, as we've already noticed in all our readers, be they feature or open mic.
The students are:
Jilian Baker (3rd year)
Scott Beckett (4th year)
Koral Scott (4th year)
Eric Zadrozny (4th year)
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.