April 2015 Open Mic ~ The End of NaPoWriMo

 Dear Writers,
Open Mic Night was also Day 27 for all the poets participating in this year’s NaPoWriMo. Okay, maybe after writing a poem a day all month long they seemed a little exhausted coming in the door, but they caught their second wind at Open Mic at Village Books.
April’s Open Mic celebrated National Poetry Month, and the poets did not disappoint!
William Manette

William Manette


Josh Fitzner

Josh Fitzner

Jim Milstead

Jim Milstead

Harvey Schwartz

Harvey Schwartz


Victoria Doerper

Victoria Doerper

Susan Chase-Foster

Susan Chase-Foster

David Drummond

David Drummond

Matthew Brouwer

Matthew Brouwer

Sam Dawn Bouic

Sam Dawn Bouic

A newcomer to this Open Mic, William Manette opened the show with his poem “Raft Riders,” from his book Stenner Creek. He went on to deliver a fantastic set. Welcome to Open Mic, William!

Along came Josh Fitzner, also new to our venue. In the new style of poets, he read from his phone. Guess what, the poetry is just as awesome whether delivered from paper or screen! Josh had us mesmerized with his tales of 90-second elevator love affairs
. . . of the mind.

Up next was Jim Milstead, author of the new collection Collage. Jim opened his set with an account of visitors—of the six-legged kind—crashing dinner at a restaurant. As a former cockroach wrangler, unlike his dining companion, Jim was unperturbed!

Harvey Schwartz brought his “failed” Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest submission, unveiled in its full length versus confined to contest word count. We unanimously voted it a winner. Congrats, Harvey!

Victoria Doerper came with three poems she’s written for NaPoWriMo. While she often writes of gardening, this trio blossomed in all directions, from lighthearted to reflective.

Susan Chase-Foster has lately been in Taiwan, writing poetry of course. The results so far are a hit, i.e., she read “To Squat Or Not To Squat,” inspired by her recent travels. Needless to say, she had us laughing and thankful for our porcelain gods.

Julie Burton joined our group tonight—Welcome, Julie!—and shared stories from her book Pen to Paper. She read “Sealed Tight,” detailing humorous attempts of trying to break into one’s own car when it’s iced over. I took a nice pic of Julie and inadvertently deleted it, so Julie, you’ll absolutely have to come back so there’s a pic of you next time!

Stories We Must Tell is the latest title from Matthew Brouwer, on scene tonight to perform “Allegory of the Cave,” a poem-story of literal pain with a gorgeous figurative result. Matthew has an upcoming reading on May 13 at Village Books.

Andrew Shattuck McBride entertained with two poems: “Two Kisses,” offering “evidence that the god of second chances is at work,” and also “Temple Trees,” taking us back to his military life in Japan.

David Drummond delivered a polished and lighthearted set that included “From Under the Rise,” poking some very witty fun at the game of golf. Considering the number of courses in our fair town, that might be a requirement.

Sam Dawn Bouic launched her sweet set on a naughtily fun note with a tale of a “devil,” who stole her underpanties and a toothbrush . . . and was never seen again.

Thanks to everyone who came to read and listen. Hey, let’s do it again this month! May’s Open Mic will be on Monday, May 25 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Memories and History is the optional theme. 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. See you there!

♥ The amazing poems by the young poets of SpeakEasy 16 are now featured on Other Mind Press. Check it out!

♥ Plus don’t miss the new Bellingham Poetry Gallery, tonight at 6 p.m. at the Spark Musuem on Bay Street in downtown Bellingham!

XO Laurel Leigh

Many of tonight's authors read from their published collections. How cool is that?

Many of tonight’s authors read from their published collections. How cool is that?









27 thoughts on “April 2015 Open Mic ~ The End of NaPoWriMo

  1. Awesome event, Laurel! I hope they’re all sleeping it off. 😀 Seriously, it’s quite an effort. A poem a day. Killer!

    I just spent the week with 42 4th and 5th graders at farm school. As part of the curriculum, they wrote poetry while sitting at a place called “Crystal Rock,” an outcropping of stone on a hillside above the Pacific. Glorious! Can’t wait to see what the venue inspired my son to write. Very curious….

  2. Laurel,

    Thanks for declaring me a winner! I accept!

    And I am declaring you a winner for the great pictures and descriptions of a fascinating evening!

    I’m in Spokane and tip my hat for you to your ol’ stomping grounds…

    See you soon😎 Harvey

    Sent from my iPhone


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