How to Read at a Poetry Open Mic

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Photo: Cadaverine Launch Reading

What’s a Poetry Open Mic? How do I take part and where can I find one?

 

 

What is Open Mic?

An Open Mic event is one where anyone can perform their poems. You don’t need to be famous or published, anyone can have a go.

How do I find an Open Mic night?

You can get listings from the Young Writers Hub, the Poetry Library, the Scottish Poetry Library or Literature Wales, plus you can find local literature organisations on our poetry map. If you are in London you can check out the listings of the Poetry Café in Covent Garden where there are regular Open Mic events. Remember if you are under 18 to check the details of the event before hand and try to contact the organisers, as many Open Mics may take place at venues with a minimum age!

How to take part?

Each organisation runs their event slightly differently, but usually you just arrive (on time!) and give your name to the organiser.

How will I know when it’s my turn?

A host will lead the event, introducing poets to the stage and letting you know when to go up. They will try to make the event welcoming and friendly for everyone, if you’re nervous or it’s your first time reading let them know.

How long should I read?

Open Mic nights usually allocate reading slots either by time or number of poems. Some organisers have a bell after five minutes so readers won’t run on, so make sure you time yourself introducing and reading your poem beforehand to see how long your set takes. If the slots are allocated by number of poems (usually 1 or 2) don’t read an epic, keep it under a page!

What’s “Hollywooding” and why is it A Bad Thing?

“Hollywooding” is reading in the first half and then leaving at the interval, like an A-list star who is photographed on the red carpet but doesn’t stick around for the movie. It’s rude, and to be avoided at all costs.

 

 

 

Myths of the Near Future

Open Mic and Myths on the Near Future Launch at the Poetry Café 5 May.

We’re inviting you to take part in an Open Mic event at the Poetry Café in London’s Covent Garden. The reading is in celebration of NAWE’s new poetry ezine Myths of the Near Future and will open with longer readings by contributors to the first issue. Following the interval there will be an Open Mic session where you can read your poems!

You can sign up to read on the night (not in advance) , however if you are on Facebook please RSVP, and please bring friends along to hear you read. You will have the chance to read either one or two poems depending on how many poets attend the event. We’re going to be a mixed bunch so when you are selecting what to read please try to avoid poems with graphic violence, sex or swearing.

 

Everyone is welcome to come to listen and to help celebrate the launch of Myths of the Near Future, however the open mic slots are reserved for poets aged no more than 25.

Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London, WC2H 9BX
map

Any questions please email the education team educationadmin@poetrysociety.org.uk

4 thoughts on “How to Read at a Poetry Open Mic

    1. Hi Scarlett, if there’s no mention of age then its 25 and under. Sometimes we have challenges targeted at lower age groups but these will be clearly marked.

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