How do you write?
If you’re at all like me you sit in front of the computer at odd hours, often with food in your lap and a significant lack of pants, and cry/swear/scream/beg the words to come out. My process is histrionic at times and painfully self-aware at others, and we can all relate a little bit. Eventually, the words come out. You submit. You submit again. Your writing goes off into the ethers and you repeat.
As solitary and odd creatures, it’s easy to forget that what we do is connect to people. Our work resonates in each other, and the point of making art is to share it, connect through it and make more.
If you’re smart, what you should do instead of stalking your Submittable account in August is head to anthology’s open mic to practice your craft. anthology prides itself on featuring smart writers who are also excellent readers. There’s nothing quite like holding a new piece in your hands, but it’s even better when you can hear the author read it themselves.
Amrit Chima and judy b.* curate an engaging show with a smooth open mic as well as engaging features, some of whom are chosen from the previous event’s open mic performances. This adds an edge of nervous hope to the evening; if you read, you could very well be standing in La Movida again, this time with your name on the bill.
This month featured Alan O’Gorman, Lauren Traetto, Lydia Conklin and Marcus Lund, with a fun blend of hilarious fiction and hard-hitting poetry. Each reader engaged fully with the audience and brought their full authorial presence to bear on their work. A lovely group all around.
Amrit & judy run a blessedly tight ship—the guidelines are specific, they are posted online, and you are expected to know your stuff. When you come, come prepared with your material timed out for the 2 minute limit, and do not be surprised if you’re dinged for going over. In the whirlwind Bay lit scene, it’s refreshing to participate in an event that sticks to its guidelines but is generous in spirit and flow.
I came, I read, I bombed thoroughly. I’m going in August to try again, and you should be there too. I recommend the empanadas, and I encourage you to sign up & read. The list closes at 7:15, so be early!
* judy b. has since stepped down from curating anthology; you can find her here. – Editor
Mick Harris is a poet living in the SF East Bay. They have an MFA, but their education is far from over. They’re mostly friendly, and definitely happy to be here. You can find their work in Pink Litter and theUp, Do anthology available from Spider Road Press, as well as forthcoming in Fruitapulp,Deep Water Literary Review, and Digging Through the Fat. They share poetry and general brain dump right this way.