One of the best ways to get an introduction to poetry, or to expose someone else to it, is to host or go along to an open mic night. These are held all over the place, from pubs to bookshops. They give new and experienced poets the opportunity to showcase their work to an enthusiastic audience who will appreciate the effort for what it is; a labour of love.
To find out where your nearest open mic night is, ask a few people. Chat to the booksellers in your local bookshop, talk to the local librarian or check out the ‘what’s on’ pages of your local newspaper or website. You may have to purchase a ticket in advance. In recent years, events such as this have become very popular, and seats will be limited, depending upon the venue.
What to Wear to an Open Mic Event
Again, this is likely to depend on where and when the event is held. Not all events are evening affairs, of course, but dresses are a good choice of outfit. Whether you want dresses that will go well from day to evening, or just something special for the event itself, finding what you want will be easy online. Remember that some open mic events last for a few hours, so while you might want one of the more glamorous dresses, make sure you choose something comfortable too, as you could be sitting there for a long time.
If you are an author of poetry yourself and want to take part in the event but are suffering from nerves, choose a smaller gathering with fewer people in the audience, just until you have built up your confidence. Then move on to more significant events.
While you are there, get to know a few people in the audience. As an author, you may want to get some feedback from them about your work. If you are new to this, feedback can be challenging to handle. Not all feedback is good, but keep in mind that every person in the audience will have a different sense of what they like and what they don’t. Listen carefully to the poets and poems that get good feedback; what is it that makes them stand out? Talk to some published poets at the events and get a few tips from them about showcasing your work moving forwards.