Our committee right now doesn’t include anyone who can pick up where I leave off. It would be a shame for London Open Mic to die, or even to fizzle away in a half-hearted fashion. So we desperately need someone to step forward before the end of the season: June, 2017.
• You must be able to plan ahead, continually. Not everyone can handle this. Since London Open Mic is a series of events, two events have to be prepared for simultaneously, first in finding featured poets, then in making sure everything else is done in proper sequence and on schedule: writing and posting ads on the website and social media and other platforms, doing interviews with the features, hosting the actual event, getting photography and videography done, writing and posting summaries and photo galleries. Consequently, a strong sense of responsibility and an ability to manage time are necessary.
• You need to persuade other volunteers to do as much of the work as possible. This is also important because the open mic is a social event, and so should be run by a social group, which then forms one of the seeds of the community it is promoting.
• You have to do any work yourself that other volunteers aren’t getting done.
• You must communicate with all parts of the community: featured poets, open mic poets, poetry aficionados, other poetry organizations, city agencies, etc.
• You must search not only for new featured poets, but for other possible kinds of features, and also for new ways of involving the organization in the community--then make them happen.
• You must inspire others.
• You must use your position to do as many good things for individuals as you possibly can. This is more important than all the rest.
Organizing London Open Mic Poetry has been a very rewarding adventure, ridding me of a debilitating shyness and, at the same time, involving me productively in my community.
I’m hoping that someone else will want to carry it forward. If you’re just curious but not likely to go for it, please ask me about it anyway. If you know someone else who might be right for it, suggest it to them. It isn’t for everyone, but it may, in the end, be perfect for someone who doesn’t think so at first glance. That was certainly true for me when I started it.
I’m happy to talk about it: