Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eve's Night Out

For the past 4 years (when I inherited the position from Mendy Knott), I have hosted a monthly open-mic reading for women. Many of us are poets, but quite a few have written novels, personal essays, and songs in addition to poetry. Each woman is invited to bring her own words, or another woman's words that have inspired her in some way, and share them with the group. We sign up and take turns reading (usually from a podium). There is no critique or evaluation, though when the evening it done, it is quite common for us to engage each other in small conversations about our work or our lives. When a woman is done reading, we applaud her for sharing her creative work. That is enough.
(Pictured here are some of us on "hat night" this spring. We sometimes do themes.)
The message of the evening: Be creative. Share your creativity.
Speaking in public, in the semblance of formality, is good practice for women to exercise their own voices and presence in a public sphere... building our confidence in our own words, our own experience.
The best trait of our group, though, is the quality of our listening. At some open-mics I've attended, I've felt it was all about the person reading showing off, or wanting to be discovered, or to be approached afterward... but that is not the case with us. I truly believe that most of us come each month to listen to each other, to be inspired by others' words, and to continue to be encouraged/nurtured in our own creative ventures.
Right now our home is Main Street Books in Burnsville. We meet on the 4th Friday of each month at 7:30 pm. All women are invited. (Men have attended in the past--they just listen though, and are not invited to read.)
It's not like we're trying to be mean to men, we're not. We've just created this space & time for women who focus on the written expression of their creativity/experiences. Likewise, we're not trying to be mean to potters, it's just that we're not a group of potters... we're women who write seeking kindred spirits. (All levels of education and experience are welcome -- published, unpublished, those working on writing as "craft", and those who simply journal.)
We are very proud of the fact that we have been the first place for many women to get up the courage to read. And if you've ever thought about it, come. It's fine if you just listen for a while to get comfortable -- shoot, bring your knitting with you (several others do too).
Here is a list of the women who either attend currently or have in the past who blog. You can get a sense of us from these. We're a diverse group!

1 comment:

kimik said...

Ahem, second time may be the charm.

I miss you gals more than ever after reading this post. I could've attended last Friday, but instead was at Mom's watching NCIS with my younger sister while Mom slept off some of the chemo effects. I could've snuck away! But, alas, boob tube and family obligations (and not checking my email) kept me from attending. :(