I am thankful for our monthly Spoken Word Gatherings! We had our April gathering last night and it was a BLAST! I shared my poem “The Silver Legacy” and a couple of new Exquisite Haiku’s We had about 19 people in attendance and some our first time guests felt comfortable enough to share their works with the group. We meet at a local community room that has a kitchen to prepare light refreshments. It really is the perfect intimate setting, not too small – not too large. Our hostess VW, works to bring in a featured Spoken Word Artist each month. Last night I had the chance to hear Komplex, an artist from the Baltimore, MD area. It was such a treat to hear his works. His lyrical tapestry was absolutely exquisite!
Below are some suggestions from Poets.org about putting together a local poetry reading in your community! Keep the children in mind, and make it an early afternoon family event.
Readings are a great way to promote poets and poetry. Perhaps you are part of a writing group and want to share your work with an audience. Or maybe you’re interested in gathering poets whose work you’ve admired, or you want to help discover new voices. You can select poets you know from writers groups, workshops, local colleges and universities (professors and students), or announce a call for readers.
When looking for a venue, consider your local library, coffee shop, bookstore, art gallery, bar, or performance space. Depending on where you have the reading, you may have to charge an admission fee or a drink minimum, which you can arrange with the owner or manager of the space.
Advertise your reading online and in print. You can post your event on the Academy’s free National Events Calendar using the simple online form. The event listing will also appear on the corresponding state page of the National Poetry Map. Create an event page on Facebook and invite your local contacts, and ask friends with websites and blogs to help publicize the reading. In addition to posting your event online, make flyers and send a listing announcement of the reading to your local newspapers and publications.
If you enjoy organizing the reading, then consider turning it into a weekly or monthly series. Your event may be the beginning of a long poetry tradition in your community.
Other Resources from Poets & Writers:
Poets & Writers Directory (to find poets in your area)