My First "Open Mic"

I gathered my courage as I waited outside the room, surreptitiously checking my watch.  In honor of National Library Week, my library was hosting an informal poetry reading, the first time we've ever had one in my hometown.  I wasn't sure I wanted to be there, presenting my work in an open forum.  I desperately wanted to be there, seeing other local poets and knowing I wasn't alone.

I went in.

The assistant director of the library (the organizer for the event) was a friend of mine in high school.  Soon after I arrived, a teenage girl showed up with her notebook of poems.  She was the last poet to come in.  Yes, just three people (organizer included) were at the open mic poetry reading.  The lack of interest was a bit disappointing.

But, it was also nice.  We talked influences, how each of us got started writing poetry, and read poems to each other.  It was a comfortable experience, one I wasn't sure I'd get if twenty or more people would have attended.  
Maria (the assistant director) told me there are a lot of poets-- published poets, in this town.  I know we have a few writers spanning all genres, but don't know any specifics. She said she's going to host another open mic in the summer (with better advertisements).  She also said a woman who writes children's books is thinking about starting a multi-genre writers' group here.

I'm not holding my breath, but my little midwestern city might be gaining resources for the wordsmiths residing here.  All I can do is wait, and surreptitiously check my calendar.

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