If you use social media such as Facebook or Google plus, you can always look up poetry groups for your area by typing in "poetry" "spoken word" or "open mic" in the taskbar, where several names will come up. There, you can read the posts and see if anything interests you. Once you find an event that you want to attend, you can go and listen for a few times if you are shy, but bring along a few of your favorite poems just in case you want to read. As you continue to go out, you'll meet people and find out about more events. There are also churches who have poetry nights, so you can always ask about those and get in touch with the sponsors. Be aware that there are different types of venues for different tastes, so pay attention to the information on flyers or posts before attending any event. If you want to read at an open mic, get there early enough to sign up on the list, for the best chance at a turn. Depending on the venue, you may have to go back several times before you even get a turn, but don't let that stop you. Keep going to different places and start with smaller crowds, until you get comfortable with larger audiences.
There are also many open mic poetry shows on the internet where anyone can call in and read their work. This is very good for building confidence in sharing your poetry, because you can read from the comfort of your own surroundings. You can find these shows on Talkshoe.com, Blogtalkradio.com, and others. Just call in and listen, or follow the prompts to go on the air!
A word about open mic events: An open mic show is exactly what it is...a space where anyone with something to say can get up and say, sing, or otherwise communicate whatever is on their mind. Some people are of the opinion that Christians should not participate in open mics because the mic is open to every spirit, but I feel that it's a real opportunity to be salt and light in a place that may need what God has given me to offer the world. I don't write my poetry specifically for the church, I write from my heart, as I'm inspired to write; and my prayer is that through my writing, God will reveal His light to someone who needs to see, in a way that they haven't seen Him before. So, know why you write, be convinced of your poetic voice, and never allow anyone to discourage you in your craft or tell you what you can or cannot write about. Of course, some topics may be more appropriate for certain audiences or venues than others...more on that later.
In Part 4 of Speak Easy, we will talk about some technical aspects of reading and presenting what you write. In the meantime, keep being inspired!
Enjoy The Number Poem by Poetri the Poet: