April is National Poetry Month and Ashland is budding with events to suit just about everyone, including poetry readings, open mics, and slams. There is even a group known as Poets on the Loose whose members roam the streets sharing poems with unsuspecting passersby. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all this lyrical goodness. For starters, here is a list of some poetry events around town.
Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m. — Poetry by Patty Wixon, Vince Wixon and Thomas Madden.
Patty Wixon is the author of "Airing the Sheets," and "Side Effects." Vince Wixon's most recent book is "Blue Moon: Poems from Chinese Lines." Thomas Madden taught English and writing at Eastern Oregon University for 25 years and has written two books of poems, "Graves in Wheat" and "Lessons for Custer."
Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m. — Jonah Bornstein, Jeannette Cappella
Jonah Bornstein's books include "We Are Built of Light," "Treatise on Emptiness" and "The Art of Waking." Jeannette Cappella is an English instructor at Rogue Community College. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, including "What The River Brings: Oregon River Poems."
Friday, April 19, 7 p.m. — Poets of Ashland Celebrate the Work of Michael Brewer. Friends and poets will read the late, local writer's poems.
Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m. — Downtowners Poetry Reading
Regulars from the monthly readings series at the Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent will share their poems.
Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m. — Toni Hanner, Michael Hanner and Tim Whitsel
Tim Whitsel is the author of "We Say Ourselves," poems of wine and family and fishing.
Michael Hanner's book, "Vivaldi: An Autobiography," is forthcoming in July.
Toni Hanner's chapbook, "Gertrude," is a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
Events are free. Bloomsbury Books is located at 290 E. Main St. For information call 541-488-0029.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Hip-Hop Open Mic in the Black Swan Theater
Monday, April 8, 7 p.m. — This is a great space for newbies and pros alike. All styles are welcome. The featured poet, muMs the Schemer is best known for his role as Arnold "Poet" Jackson on the HBO series Oz. muMs also performed on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. The Black Swan is at 15 S. Pioneer St., Admission is free. For information call 541-482-2111 ext. 295.
April 13, 3 p.m. — Michael Holstein, Martha Fitzgerald, Maria Ciamaichelo, Irv Green and Joseph T. Suste will perform a variety of poems using the tools of theater to bring poetry alive.
April 18, 7 p.m. — Esther Kamkar and John Daniel
Esther Kamkar's poems are lovingly crafted, honest and full of evocative imagery. Don't miss this fine poet on her first visit to Ashland.
John Daniel has worked as a logger, railroad inspector, rock climbing instructor and poet-in-the-schools. He writes and teaches around the country.
Sunday, April 21, 1:30 p.m. — The library is hosting an open mic in the Gresham room. Everyone is welcome. Share some poetry, your own or a favorite poem. There will also be yummy desserts.
Downtowne Coffeehouse — The second Thursday of every month, the Downtowne Coffeehouse hosts a poetry open mic. Sign up to read at 6:30 p.m., readings start at 7.
The café is located at 200 Talent Ave., in Talent. The next open mic is April 11. For information call 541-535-2299.
Rogue Poetry Slam, Northwest Pizza and Pasta Co — Every third Tuesday, sign-up to read at 8:30 p.m.; the show starts at 9. This is a three-round competition, where winning poets go home with cash prizes and gift certificates. The next slam is April 16. There is a $3 cover. Northwest Pizza is at 1585 Siskiyou Blvd. For information call 541-488-2080.
Wild Goose — Sunday evenings at 9 p.m., the Wild Goose hosts a mix of poetry, song and performance. The restaurant and bar is located at 2365 Ashland Street. For information call 541-488-4103.
Angela Decker is a freelance writer in Ashland and can be reached at email@example.com.