In the summer of 2012 the Adirondack Art Association organized the first in what would become a monthly tradition of Poetry Open Mic events. AAA Gallery Director Steven Krolak and Essex bon vivant Jeff Moredock delivered a consistently inspiring and well attended poetry series that summer. A monthly community poetry reading welcomed and entertained all and ensured that the series was renewed the next summer.
Yet even more inspiring is that those poetry events encouraged a winter poetry series at the Belden Noble Memorial Library! Now the Essex Poetry Open Mic nights are a year-round presence in Essex, NY.
Whether you’re a poet or a poetry fan, you’re invited — free of charge — to join your friends and neighbors for all manner of poems read aloud. Share works in progress and get helpful feedback. Share your finished poems or those by your favorite poets. Or simply listen.
Poetry in Essex FAQ
Q: Is it really an open mic?
A: Yes. And no. Next Wednesday’s community poetry reading is wide open to the public. But you’ll find no microphone. The space is intimate. And the acoustics are groovy. No microphone is needed. So, strictly speaking the Poetry Open Mic is not really an “open mic”.
Q: Is it actually a poetry slam?
A: No. While last summer’s poetry events were billed as poetry slams, they were actually just informal, public public readings in which everyone was invited to share their own poetry aloud with a friendly and supportive audience. Poetry slams are competitive.
“Simply put, poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. A poetry slam is a competitive event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience.” (Poetry Slam – General FAQ)
Q: Is it child friendly?
A: Although poets are invited to decide for themselves whether or not their material is appropriate for the audience, there are sometimes children in attendance and even reading or reciting their own poems. I attended all of the poetry last summer summer and never once did I witness poetry that was inappropriate for children.
Q: Is there a fee to attend? To read?
A: Although similar events elsewhere often require payment for attendance, it is totally free to attend and/or read at the Poetry Open Mics.
Q: Do I have to be a published poet to read?
A: Certainly not. Most of the poets reading write poetry for fun rather than profit. (Excuse the cheeky aside to all writers who’ve grown rich publishing poetry!)
Essex Poetry Open Mic Photo Gallery
Submit your own photos, and we just may include them here!