Nicole J. Simms

My First Poetry Open Mic

Post date: 26th May 2018
Me reading out my poetry at the Britannia Inn Poetry Open Mic

[Me reading out my poetry at the Britannia Inn Poetry Open Mic]

On the 14th May 2018, I went to the poetry open mic at the Britannia Inn. This was the first time I had gone to an open mic, so I was excited but a little nervous.

The poetry open mic was organised by the Oldbury Writing Group founder, Angela Garratt and the Cradley Library Writing Group founder, Maddie Williams. I have wanted to go to a poetry open mic ever since I joined the Oldbury Writing Group, so when Angela told me about her new event, I knew it was one event I couldn’t miss. I wasn’t able to go to the open mic in April – this was the first one – so when the date for the May was announced I was determined to go because I didn’t want to miss out again.

I wasn’t the only OWG member to attend the event; Daniel, Julian and Jackie also came to perform. The Britannia Inn is a cosy pub with a relaxed atmosphere, which is perfect for a poetry open mic. Once everyone had arrived, bought drinks and settled down, the event began. Maddie introduced us to the open mic and delighted us with a selection of her own poems. One of the poems she read was about widdershins, which has inspired me to write my own poem based on a word. Jackie was the first to represent the Oldbury Writing Group. She shared a funny poem that involved an alligator biting its owner on the nose and a bear escaping from Dudley Zoo – apparently, this poem was inspired by true events. She did brilliantly and made us all laugh.

After Jackie, other poets took to the mic and entertained us all with their brilliant poems, and before I knew it, it was my turn to perform. I stood by the mic stand and focused on controlling my nerves; it doesn’t matter how many times I read out my work in front of an audience, I still feel incredibly nervous – I may love wearing pink and other bright colours, but I hate being the centre of attention. However, that didn’t stop me from using the opportunity to advertise my writing group’s World War Two anthology titled, From Sunrise to Sunset. To further promote the book, I read what I consider to be my best poem in the book called ‘Ravensbrück Rabbit’. I then read out two poems that I had written a long time ago but never had the opportunity or courage to read them out. The first was titled ‘Rage’ and the second was called ‘The Date’, which was inspired by two pigeons sitting on my garden fence.

It’s scary getting up to read out your work, and the fear never really ever fully goes, but I always find myself feeling so proud when I step outside of my comfort zone and conquer my fear.

Oldbury Writing Group Selfie

[Oldbury Writing Group Selfie]

After my performance, more poets took to the stage – there wasn’t a stage, but you know what I mean – and read out more witty, emotional, humorous, saucy and thought-provoking poetry. The one poem that stood out the most was about an unlucky knicker thief.

There was a short interlude after half of the poets had performed, and once the break was over, Angela introduced the second half where she also shared some of her poems. Julian and Daniel were the next ones to represent the Oldbury Writing Group. They both did a brilliant job, especially Daniel who appeared more nervous than I was. Considering neither had really written poetry before joining the group, I was impressed by what I heard, and they should both be proud of themselves.

I had a wonderful time at the poetry open mic. It was lovely to be amongst talented and like-minded people. I always believe that something magical happens when writers come together. Even though it meant I got into my pyjamas later than normal, I was glad I was able to attend.

After the event, I felt inspired to write more poetry, especially as I want new material for June’s open mic. You know, becoming part of the writing world was the best decision I have ever made.

The Britannia Inn Poetry Open Mic is on every second Monday of the month, so the next one will be the 11th June 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Have you ever been to a poetry open mic? Feel free to comment below if you have or would like to go to an event. I’d love to hear your experiences.

Keep writing, folks!

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