I'm looking forward to hitting the Words Out Loud (WOL) poetry reading at Glen Echo tomorrow night. It's a particularly fun and laid back setting, in which it's easy to take risks at the open mic and where I feel supported and consistently enjoy great featured readers. Being in regular attendance there for the past couple of years, I've learned a lot. I missed July and it feels like a long time since I've been, because it's become a kind of home for me.
Similarly, I'm psyched for the DiVerse Gaithersburg readings to ramp back up in September, my regular home on the second Sunday of the month for much of the year. Once in awhile I buy a book, although not nearly as often as I wish to. Basically, it's free, thoughtful entertainment. And through sharing space and poetry, I find myself part of this vibrant MoCo poetry community. A grass roots movement by dedicated, smart poets to offer a forum to celebrate creativity, art, words, and often what plagues and uplifts us.
These readings and open mics are a lot of work for the hosts. I half-ass tried to co-host a prose reading in the winter and, between publicizing and organizing, in addition to the rest of life (working, Mama-ing, writing, dinner time that comes around every damned night...), it proved a bit much for me to sustain at the time. But I appreciate those who do sustain the readings! Phil Wexler of WOL, Lucinda Marshall of DiVerse G'burg, Indran Amirthanayagam of Poetry at the Port and so many more, some of which I have yet to investigate.
I used to cite AAA as the last great American bargain for their unlimited tows for a reasonable yearly membership fee. They've lost that honor with their tow limits now. We still have free parks and trails, county fair discount days, free education and poetry readings. Hope we keep all that!