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Hampton Roads Community News

Open Mic Goodness 1st Thursdays Sponsored By The New Journal & Guide Kickoff 8-11 p.m. – July 7th

By Sean C. Bowers
Local Voices Correspondent
New Journal and Guide

Start your month off right with an evening of local poetry readings each 1st Thursday at Granny’s Country Cooking in Norfolk’s Park Place Neighborhood (636 West 35th Street, across from The Venue) Telephone 626-3424. This Guide-On-Your-Side is the next logical step in the “freedom speech” – modern day “above-ground railroad” in the pursuit of true mental, physical and spiritual equality. Poets are asked to perform without profanity or sexual content, in six minutes or less. All above twenty-one years of age are welcome. A two dollar cover charge will go to the Guide for future event promotions and growth purposes.

With the publication of each New Journal and Guide over the past 116 years, a sacred community trust has been placed with the publisher. For the past 36 years, Brenda H. Andrews has been the “keeper of justice’s flame” for the Guide and so it is both fitting and just that she should be the initial guest poet host for the first OMG 1st Thursday on the evening of July 7th. Guest poet hosts will grace the stage each month as part of a united front. Hosts of all backgrounds are invited to bring their friends and followings from the open mics that they already host, resulting in a sense of shared communion and a cross-pollenization of ideas, thoughts, and poetic ideals.

For the past year and a half, the Guide has published six quarterly editions of “MUSE,” a special 4-page insert highlighting the area’s poetry scene and including the Hampton Roads Youth Poets. Open Mic Goodness is another railroad tie along the monthly track, albeit unique. It is specifically designed to be inclusive; we seek to break down the issues and apathy through the soulful healing of poetic empathy.

Poets are welcomed and encouraged to bring and sell their CDs and books at each 1st Thursday event. The gatherings at this full soul food restaurant and bar (with a standing room occupancy of 250) provide a central 757 location with room to grow. Listed below are the first six months’ of guest Poet hosts. A sign-up list will be created to give poets their mic time. Poets can also sign up to record their poetry for the Guide’s online poetry platform, to be taped separately in some cases.

With great rewards come greater sacrifices. As we all move forward through the circles of our daily lives, we can either bring someone into our circle or we can close ranks. It is our hope that this monthly event will be the circle that is unbroken and ever expanding in consciousness, size, popularity, power, proactive forethought and out reach through both the Guide’s historical print arm and now the new digital online poetic platform. So now that ya’ know, your 1st assignment is to bring a friend and experience poetry’s power first-hand. For information or questions Call Sean C. at 333-3029.

Dates Guest Poet Hosts
Jul. 7th Brenda Andrews
Aug. 4th Judith Stevens
Sept. 1st Nathan Richardson
Oct. 6th Talya Chatman
Nov. 3rd James Wilson
Dec. 1st Jorge Mendez
Jan. 5th TBA
Feb. 2nd TBA
Mar. 2nd Sean C. Bowers
Apr. 7th TBA
May 4th TBA
Jun. 1st TBA

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