The Open Mic Poetry and Prose Night for the Elkin Public Library was hosted by Elkin Creek Vineyard Sunday night with a full house.
The crowd prepared for the readings by listening to Caroline Beverley make magic on her acoustic guitar while ordering brick-oven pizzas that added the scents of seasonings to the comfortable atmosphere. Librarian Kasey Nowalk welcomed readers and listeners with excitement, “This is my favorite thing that I get to do at the library.”
Unlike other readings, Nowalk provided special note cards for audience members to write on during the presentations urging them to record moments of special connection. “This is a way to encourage what everybody’s doing,” assured Nowalk. “This is all about encouraging a creative community.”
Poet Bill Griffin also made an effort to encourage creativity in others by providing information for submissions to publish in addition to his readings. As a blogger, Griffin shares his publishing knowledge as well as his work. The list of journals that publish poetry and their submission dates as well as other helpful information for poets and the poems of several local writers can be found at griffinpoetry.com.
“Writing is a conversation. Maybe I’m conversing with my memories. Maybe imagining the conversation the poem would have with someone who shares it. Sometimes it’s just flat making something up,” explained Griffin. “If it’s a really good day someone else reads my poem, or listens to me read it, starts making their own connections, and it becomes a two-way conversation.”
Visiting Elkin from Mount Airy just for Open Mic Night was poet Millie Hiatt who had a “wonderful night.” Hiatt’s performance of her work was reminiscent of professional poetry readings with her acknowledgement of dramatic pause and audience reaction.
Prose also was presented at Open Mic Night. Bert Bollinger read short stories referencing his experience and exhibiting his storytelling skills. “It doesn’t have to be a good story but I’m going to tell it,” explained Bollinger, “just ask my wife.” Eileen Bollinger appeared to enjoy her husband’s humor as much as the rest of those assembled.
Although the Elkin Library holds an Open Mic Night every few months, those who enjoy creative wording can participate in the library’s Creative Writing club twice monthly by contacting Nowalk at 336-835-5586 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.