This week’s post comes from Performance Poet, Poetry Slam supremo and CWC member, Jackie Juno, who tells us about an event that happens this coming Wednesday, 4th December, and on the first Wednesday of each month.
“I had to look it up in my diary – 3 Feb 2016. That was the date of the first Outspoken! Poetry Open Mic evening in Chagford. That’s nearly four years – and every single evening has been a gem, a jewel, a joy!
Running an open mic event is fun and exciting. You never know what the evening will bring, who will turn up and who will perform. I do encourage people to sign up and book their spot beforehand, but I also leave plenty of space for those who don’t book and just appear! We often have 8 or 9 poets in attendance, sometimes more.
I have been running various nights in Devon for decades, and this one is particularly dear to my heart because it has birthed so many performers, far more than any night I have run before! The physical space is warm and cosy, it is a safe space and has lovely sofas and candlelight, great ambience and it is private enough to feel confidential. Chagford as a community is inclusive and friendly, and that reflects in the space. So it seems the ideal setting to first come out as a performer or reader of your own work.
Many of these first time performers have gone on to do great and marvellous things on the poetry scene and on the poetry page, which makes me ultra proud!
People travel from great distances to perform here – we have regulars from Moretonhampstead, Okehampton, Bovey Tracey, Chudleigh, Ashburton, Totnes, Torquay, Gunnislake and even Wadebridge! It is always an honour to accommodate those who have come far, and long distance folks are rewarded with slightly longer slots or headline sets.
As with many of the smaller poetry nights, the bulk of the audience is made up of poets! So added listeners are warmly welcomed. I love the variety that an open mic offers; the huge difference in tone, voice and subject matter is wonderful to witness. My job of holding it all together is made particularly easy by the quality of writing and reading which occurs at Outspoken!
Everyone is welcome – come along and hear for yourself how entertaining, tender and inspiring poetry can be. First Wednesday of the month, 7.30-9.30pm. In the upstairs room at The Globe Inn, Chagford, 9 High St TQ13 8AJ £3 for readers, £4 audience. Book in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org / 01626 835802 to be sure of a spot, or just turn up and hope for the best!”