Feb 2012 Open Mic

Dear Writers:

Visit the new “regulars” page started for our Village Books’ open mic nights. If you’d like to be added you must have read within the last three months. Send me your site link, too, so I can include it. The open mic pics I took recently were too dark, but I’ll take more and start adding them, so dress cute!

Here’s some news from February’s Open Mic @ Village Books.

Poet Matthew Brouwer offered a thought-provoking twist, drawing on poetry from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself—Pocket Edition, a gift he received. During a family evening, the poet read from the Pocket Edition, listened to his family comment, and realized just how strange his own family thinks he is for writing poetry. A regular at our open mics, Matthew’s been featured at Poetry Night and is the author of Cannonball Island. Hearing him perform his poetry is a lesson in itself.

Rae Ellen Lee had us all in stitches reading from her in-process Field Guide to North American Geezers, including notes about thirteen different species of geezers, such as “old miner,” “renaissance,” and “white rump” geezer. She is freakin’ hilarious.

The wonderful lineup of readers also included Nancy Lou Canyon with a great lesson on po-jacking, Richard Lee “Dick” Harris sharing poetry about North Wales, Shannon Laws bringing a Judith Joyce poem, “Lilies at Midnight,” Jane Vawker reading a scene of self-discovery from her memoir in progress, Janet Oakley with a selection from the historical Tree Soldier, Diana Swan on her recent breakup with the city of Portland, David Zerby offering a quietly moving poem about stage three cancer, regular Jim Milstead with his humorous, biting rhyming, Christine Kendall sharing “Art Appraisal” and other poems, James Doran with an excerpt from his agented novel manuscript, Angela Belcaster reciting her new and evocative poem “Vandalism,” and son Nick Belcaster, who graced us with his first reading ever! Thanks everyone for coming out for a highly enjoyable evening.

  • The next open mic is March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Bring your written words about saving time or spending time—or any creative work in progress. The rosters have been filling early, so be sure to sign up ahead of time at the main counter on the first floor or call (360) 671-2626.
  • Introducing Dogpatch Writers Collective: About year ten, we got around to officially naming the DWC. This year we were excited to launch a DWC-dedicated blog. The Dogpatch is a creative venture near to my heart—for me it has endured through a couple marriages, an interstate move and two Jeeps. It’s like the best carpool ever but with writing! If you haven’t found it from my website, you can read my recent post on Spotted Writing Stunts and follow DWC’s group blog at www.dogpatchwriterscollective.wordpress.com.
  • To answer a couple questions I keep getting about the Knockout Editing class starting April 5 at WWU: We will begin looking at participants’ material (up to 5000 words which can include a novel outline if that’s what you want evaluated) the second or third week of class. Unlike our revision workshop discussions which disallow the writer commenting in favor of letting the work speak for itself, the editing for publication class will engage the writer as part of the team evaluating and shaping the piece, with its target audience as the primary consideration.

As always, send me your writing-related events announcements so I can help spread the word! If you feel like it, tell a couple people about this blog. For more details about upcoming events and classes, visit LaurelLeighWriter.com.

xo Laurel Leigh

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