Now I can claim to have an international audience since I’ve read poetry in England. I participated in Poetry Unplugged, the Poetry Society’s weekly open mic at their Poetry Cafe. Our host, Mr. Niall O’Sullivan did a great job of keeping things rolling but what impressed me the most was how polite the poets were.
According the website if there are less than 25 readers then we’d get five minutes each. If it goes over 25 and we only get four. This evening there were 37 readers! I’ve been to plenty of “over-booked” open mics where the poets don’t respect their time limit but there were only a few who even got close to four minutes. Most stayed in the two to three minute range which I think is just about perfect.
Since we were pressed for time, I decided to only read two, Jane Avril and Milkshakes and Chilidogs. Both were well received and I’m content with my reading. As with all open mics one finds a mix of veteran performers and rookies, a mix of funny poetry, angry poetry, sad poetry, good poetry and bad poetry but overall this was one of the better open mics for quality. I highly recommend it as a great way to spend a Tuesday evening in London.
During his introduction, Mr. O’Sullivan asked that we not smoke in front of the cafe because the vent keeping us cool in the basement pulls air from there. A little after I completed my reading, we all started smelling something kinda like cigarette smoke but not quite cigarette smoke. Our host made a sly comment which the audience seemed to think was hilarious but I, of course, have no idea why.