The Unofficial Beginning of Fall

End of Summer 
Have you ever noticed how a slogan will start to be passed around in advertising for a while? As a kid, I remember all the stores that were open late in the fall would call their sales "midnight madness" or something to that effect.  A few years ago the buzz phrase was "Christmas in July". This year is no different. I have heard Labor Day termed "the unofficial last day of Summer" more than a handful of times this year. It doesn't have quite the same charm as Christmas in July but it does give one pause. Ending Summer when living in the Midwest is quite a sobering thought.

But guess what? In Michigan, Summer isn't the only exciting season around here! Fall in Michigan means amusement parks without blistering heat, cider mill and maple tree tours, and...the ARTS!! One way to verify that fall is here is with the Kerrytown Bookfest happening this Sunday.

John F. Buckley
The writing and poetry community is definitely ready to jump back into action. In fact, Thursday is the Fall Season Kickoff for Bookbound's Open Mic and Share Poetry Monthly Event with John F. Buckley.


Just in case you hadn't heard. 

A graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, John F. Buckley has been writing poetry since March 2009, when his attempt at composing a self-help book went somewhat awry. After a twenty-year stint on and near the West Coast, he now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife. His publications include various poems, two chapbooks, the collection Sky Sandwiches, and with Martin Ott, Poets’ Guide to America and Yankee Broadcast Network. His website is http://johnfbuckley.net/.




Below, is an excerpt from the Bookbound Newsletter explaining how it all works:

What: 
Ann Arbor's new Bookbound Open Mic & Share poetry series

When:
The 2nd Thursday of every month at 7pm.

Where: 
Bookbound -- 1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor -- in the Courtyard Shops. 

Who:
The General Poetry Community: Poets, Aspiring Poets, Published Poets, New Poets, Experienced Poets, Readers of Poetry, Poetry Lovers, Poetry Enthusiasts, Writers and Poetry Community Supporters.

How:
The event structure is simple: 3 to 5 open mic poets read for about 5 minutes each, then we hear from the featured poet for 20 minutes, followed by time for book signing and conversation. 

Why: 
As a poet, community member, and small business owner specializing in marketing publicity for writers and poets, I saw two distinct needs in our community:
1. Safe venues for poets to hone their craft of presenting, hear their work come from their lips, especially poets who were not connected to a formal program or were a little shy.
2. Places for poets without big book deals or followings to share their work before an audience and extend a low-risk opportunity for bookstores to sell their work.


How does it all work?
I have come a long way since I shared my first poem publicly at a poetry slam. It was such an unsettling experience, I ended up in bed for a day. I couldn't get the cadence of my voice to work like an instrument that wowed audiences...in fact, I couldn't even remember the words! I pulled out my paper and then couldn't keep my place reading on the page. I was so nervous. Eventually, I got (a little) better and even placed in a slam competition. However, I have found that I prefer the nurturing audience that an open mic can provide, without competition. 

So, when I contacted Megan and Peter from Bookbound I explained the cafe open mic model, but with a twist. It would begin with around 3 people sharing poetry in front of the group.  If they did not have original poetry, poetry lovers in the audience or staff members could share a favorite poem recited or read from the poetry books on the store shelves. Next, the featured, published poet would have 20 minutes to read and discuss their work, followed by 20 minutes for people to buy, sign, browse and socialize. The books the author sold would be available that night and on the shelves on a consignment basis that Megan and Peter constructed to be mutually favorable for all parties.

And that, folks, is how the Bookbound Open Mic & Share Series was born!

If you would like to be an open mic poet, please email: info[at]bookboundbookstore.com

If you would like to be considered for the featured poet spot, please email Leslie[at]LesGo4It.com


Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Peace,

Les