COVID-19 may have slowed down Irving Theater’s open-mic poetry night, but it’s back on the rise! Every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., Irving Theater opens their doors to beautiful and audacious poets who want to test out their skills on stage. It’s told that this is the second oldest poetry open mic in Indiana. Having been around for 18 years now. 

River George, one of the open-mic hosts and poet, told me that there was a major decrease in poets and the audience attending the open-mic during the height of the COVID outbreak. To remedy this, Irving Theater began hosting the open mic nights on the deck tucked behind the theater. They also offer a virtual option on Facebook for those who are taking extra precautions of staying at home.

On June 18, the poetry was alive! There were so many wonderfully different experiences and stories told through the art of poetry. Poems about demogorgons, a metaphorical world of vegetables, the experience of being Black, the Black Lives Matter movement, a poem about one’s female experience, a few poems about the LGBTQ experience … and we even got to listen to “Hellbound Train” by Savoy Brown. All poems felt welcome to be expressed and the crowd “snapped” along throughout each performance. A few of the poets included, Vejji The Vegetable KingRaZMika Starfox, Alexander, River George, Prodigal DaughterJokahh, Marissa, Jess, and many others. 

If you’re a poet and are looking to gain practice in front of a live audience or a person looking to experience various styles of poetry you should take a trip down to Irving Theater. You’ll be greeted with open arms and a convivial evening of literary work performed by local poets.