You may have noticed the smell of spring in Essex these last few days.
Don’t get duped. It’s a hoax. A dangling daffodil serenading you beneath your window. “Lose your hat, and lose your mitts,” she sings. “De-hibernate and free your wits and things. Dispatch the freeze. Embrace the thaw. For springtime’s ease returns for all…”
It’s a seductive tune, but don’t let yourself begin to hum along. Fortify yourself against January thaw’s beguiling, misleading song. Winter will come marching back just as sure as Monday will follow Sunday. Cold. Snow. Wintery mix.
But fret not! Another sort of springtime is just around the corner. On Wednesday, January 30, at 7:00 p.m. the Belden Noble Library will host a community poetry reading to chase away the winter blues.
Poetry Open Mic
The poetry readings scheduled for January 30 and February 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Belden Noble Library in Essex, NY are a midwinter extension of the poetry evenings held at the Adirondack Art Association over the last two summers. The summer poetry events initiated by Jeff Moredock were originally billed as “poetry slams”. In fact, the evenings were not competitions at all, but friendly celebration of poetry.
Strictly speaking the AAA sponsored poetry events are not poetry slams. They are informal, public readings in which everyone is invited to share their own poetry aloud with a friendly and supportive audience comprised of other writers and poetry aficionados. 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. Typically, the host or another organizer selects the judges, who are instructed to give numerical scores (on a zero to 10 or one to 10 scale) based on the poets’ content and performance.” (Poetry Slam – General FAQ) … [During the Poetry Open Mics in Essex] you’ll witness no competition, only encouraging and admiring peers. (Essex on Lake Champlain)
In keeping with the tradition of misnomers (We call it poetic license!), we’ve dubbed the winter readings “Poetry Open Mic” despite the fact that no microphones will be used. Just your friends and neighbors sharing their verses aloud. Whether you’re a poetry writer or a poetry reader, you are invited to attend the January 30 Poetry Open Mic. The evening is open to every kind of poet, every style of poetry, seasoned bards, wobbly kneed amateurs and the adoring public who savor the spoken word. There is no entrance fee, and there are no auditions. Just local, organic, free-range poetry.
What does that look like? Here’s an excerpt from a poem written and read by Donna Joerg in July.
This I know
After the shoefly pie cools
On a rainy day
John Mayall is the best music
The donkey that strayed out the fence
Won’t get hit in the road
Because it’s spring
Because no grass is greener
Blessings are everywhere
And you can see them if you move slowly
Better if you don’t flinch
Just try holding them down a while
Or push one hoof back in, gently
Until it can, so it all comes out right…
~ Donna Joerg, “Lab Rat”
Perhaps I’ll be publishing an excerpt from your poem soon? Polish it up and come on down to the library at seven on Wednesday, January 30 to share it with the community.
Poetry Open Mic at the Belden Noble Library
Address: 2759 Essex Road, Essex, New York, 12936
Telephone: (518) 963-8079