Open Mic Evening Held by ECWS


On Thursday 15th February, upstairs at the Cooper’s Arms, the English and Creative Writing Society hosted an open mic evening.  The uni’s English Department had advertised the event, and I made the embarrassing mistake of assuming, in front of a lovely member of committee, that the evening was organised by the lecturers. I can only hope they interpreted this as a compliment to the event’s professional organisation and smooth execution.

The poets were welcomed up to the stage. The first performer started the night strong, recounting a childhood entwined with the coal industry. Frequent breaks between speakers allowed their words to absorb and gave me some time to discuss the poems with my housemate. She hadn’t been too keen on poetry at GCSE but was surprised by how much she enjoyed hearing it spoken in person, in the poet’s own voice.

The subjects were touching and often raw, with intense sections handled delicately. Occasionally the verses were a little predictable (sometimes lines I’d heard repeated in literature before) but overall some incredibly poignant work was shared that evening,. The room was silent as everybody listened, and an overwhelming response of applause followed each performer’s final lines. There were some superb song performances which split up the poetry. Next time I hope to see more music!

Overall it was a successful, inspiring evening in a supportive atmosphere: one that tempted me to start writing poetry again and doubtless got the crowd thinking too.