August 2012 Open Mic

Dear Writers,
The talented crowd at this month’s open mic at Village Books did not disappoint! Congratulations to the writers who shared their newly published works and to those joining our company for the first time. Here’s the recap:

C.J. Prince

The smashing C.J. Prince started us off with poems evoking images of mariachi bands, film stars, and the joy of dancing. She is a co-author of the story collection Catching My Breath and will feature in a reading in October. Peter Rust grabbed our attention with a tense scene of discovery from a sci-fi manuscript he’s developing. You can check out Peter’s blog Unashamed Studios. Memoirist Shannon Hager delighted us with an excerpt entitled “God Spoke to Pastor Taylor” from her work Five Thousand Brothers-in-Law.

Local writer and open mic regular Dick Harris gifted us a poem in the manner of a Norwegian poem told in the Middle Ages inspired by stories of his ancestors emigrating from Norway. Amanda Hagerty read from her short story “Storm Line,” which will appear in an upcoming issue of the new lit mag Bellingham Stories. Congrats, Amanda! Bellingham Stories is actively seeking submissions, although be careful what you ask for. After her story was accepted, Amanda also found herself designing the magazine’s website!

Jim Milstead – Walking Dude

Novelist and teacher Janet Oakley shared a moving excerpt about a failed execution from her work entitled The Jossing Affair. Frequently offering his very funny poems, tonight Jim Milstead proved he could move an audience with a beautiful poem entitled “Continuity.” By the way, before the event started, Jim hurried by me as I sat (on my ass) outside the Colophon Cafe. He explained he was getting in a little more walking to further his goal of walking the equivalent of the circumference of the earth (just under 25,000 miles, if, like me, you had to look that up). Jim has about 400 miles to go to reach his awesome goal. He said a side benefit is all of the things he notices to write about. Yay, Jim!

We welcomed Tsena Paulsen, who read at this open mic for the first time, although she’s not a newbie in the writing world. Tsena is a blogger (at Succombing) and poet, and she shared a series of poems about the wonderful agony and ecstasy of love, including “Never (Always) Love a Poet.” Also newer to our venue was poet Jennifer Bullis, who has a well-deserved poem in Iron Horse Literary Review, published by Texas Tech University’s English Department. Her work will also appear in an upcoming chapbook. Way to go, Jennifer! And Harvey Schwartz was on fire tonight, mixing it up with four poems and a short story that took just 6.5 minutes to read but made a lasting impression.

Shannon Laws

Andrew Shattuck McBride showed us his latest postcard poem and also read “Sticky and Sweet,” a poem referencing New Orleans, and the poem “What We Love Consumes Us,” recently published in Platte Valley Review, the journal of the University of Nebraska Kearney. Good job, Andy! Shannon Laws rounded out the night with a very engaging look into another world in pages from her unpublished story “The Puddle.” Kudos to this wonderful ensemble of writers for coming to share their work.

  • As always, send me your writing-related event notices 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, visit the About Town page at From local events to workshops in France, there is a lot of cool stuff coming up for writers.
  • Check out the open mic “regulars” page. 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!
  • Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective.

Shannon Hager

The next open mic is Monday, September 24 at 7 PM in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Bring your written words discussing the fall season—or any creative work in progress. The rosters fill early so be sure to sign up ahead of time at the main counter on the first floor or call (360)-671-2626.

Write on!

xo Laurel Leigh

6 thoughts on “August 2012 Open Mic

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