Open Mike at the Dodge Poetry Festival

When I saw that they had Open Mike during each session at the Dodge Poetry Festival, I knew I had to give it a shot, to experience the nerves and vulnerability that comes from presenting your work in front of strangers. I brought three poems, figuring I’d read one, but when I saw that other participants were reading more than one poem, I figured, what the hell, I’ll read them all.

So I read three poems: “The Smell of Rain, “ “Goodbye, George” and “Absence.”

Two people before me, a guy introduced as Lamar Hill came in and threw down “The Dirt Church” – he was so good I knew he had to be a performer, and sure enough, he is. In fact, he’s a winner of Def Poetry Jam – here’s a little bio – And then it turns out he’s one of the festival poets, doing his thing Saturday in two sessions; who knows what motivated him to step in among the amateurs at the New Jersey Historical Society.

Over the next few days, I’ll try to post my notes, for what they’re worth.

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