CAPS loves emerging poets and writers!

At every monthly event we reserve Open Mic time. Experienced and new poets are welcome.
Performance art is a-okay, daddio. Costumes, dancers, an upright bass, whatever.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Two poem limit
  • Time limit is five minutes or less
  • Come early (7:15) and sign up on our sheet.
  • $5 admission for everyone, including participants

Some tips:

  • Time your poem(s) at home, or with friends. Make sure they don't run over our 5 min time limit.
  • Rehearse! Read aloud, alone or with friends. Get comfortable with your work, find the moments for pause or emphasis, the cadence and music.
  • Our audiences want you to succeed. Don't sweat it if you sweat, lose your place, stumble on a word. If you are brave enough to stand and deliver, you win our hearts. Everyone but Stevie Wonder sucked a little at first. Trust your work.
  • We listen close for the good work, the meaningful line, the great phrase. We are listening to the writing, and we grade on the curve, the arc, of the infinite power of words. We don't judge you. Trust your work.
  • Look us in the eye a couple of times.
  • Say hello or something, at the beginning. But don't eat up your five minutes with chatter and backstory unless it's haiku and you are insanely entertaining. Trust your work.
  • Love the flops. Embrace the tepid responses. They teach FAR more than the vigorous applauseses. Plus, we're poets, and easily distracted.
  • It is rude to leave after your turn at the mic. Participation includes listening to the poets who listened to you. If you cannot do this please do not participate. We will notice. Do the right thing.
  • (PSA: Featured Poets: stay and listen to everyone. Do the right thing.)
  • Inhabit your work. Mean every word. Let time stand still. Break our hearts. Tear the joint up. Better an overdone explosion than a mumbled, rushed, tom-tom effort. Remember: we want to love it. Trust your work.
  • If you are new to writing and reading, perhaps take an earlier slot.
  • We used to say: “Try not to follow Donald Lev. He's a genius.” He certainly was. Rest in peace, Donald.


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