Our regular readings involve an open mic section. We do not write down names in advance, poets sign up for slots when they arrive at the venue. Slots are 5 minutes in length and those 5 minutes are yours to do whatever you please with (as long as it’s legal of course!)
Here are some useful tips for the Tongues and Grooves website:
- Always choose a poem that will hold people’s attention. IF YOUR POEM GOES OVER THE PAGE IT’S TOO LONG FOR OPEN MIC.
- Always include time for any introductions and links. (It’s possible to spend longer on this than your poem!).
- Always stick to the time. Poems take longer to read out loud than silently. Read your poem out loud at home beforehand – and time yourself.
- Always memorise as much of your poem as possible. Sincerity is appreciated just as much (if not more) than a ‘performance’.
- Always arrive early for a practice if you’re unfamiliar with using a microphone.
- Remember, nobody likes every poet – so don’t feel the need to apologise to the audience. However, be kind to them. They should be left wanting to hear you again – rather than wondering when you’re going to stop!
- Remember, if you stick to time, people will listen. If you stumble over your words, go back to the beginning of that line and read it again.
- Remember, good poems don’t come easily. Avoid poems written on the back of beer mats, flyers, etc. If you’re serious, take advantage of poetry workshops and courses; read contemporary poets; and subscribe to at least one poetry magazine.