Arts & Culture

Speak Over the Old Port

By Liam Woodworth-Cook

Every Tuesday night writers and poets gather at Bull Feeney’s for roughly two hours of words and laughs. This is an all-inclusive event for anyone of any age or literary capability.

The spoken-word collective Port Veritas hosts the show and invites featured poets for the modest suggested donation of $3-5. Starting at 8 p.m. in the upstairs showroom, anyone can sign up and read their works or listen in for an hour. If there happens to be a feature, they sweep the stage at 9 p.m. for roughly hour or so of gorgeous thought. While most of the featured poets are New Englanders and slam champions, I was lucky enough to catch Washington poet Robert Lashley read this past winter, flying into town for a single night of lyrical heaven.

The audience is an encouraging cast of regulars. Past performances have included a one-person play, slam poems to shake the floor and delicate gems of words gracing the heart. Humor always slips its way into the seriousness. Being an all-ages event allows a unique experience in the Old Port. While there is a full bar for those who wish to imbibe, Bull Feeney’s also provides soft drinks, coffee and tea. The poetry frequently address social issues, whether that’s race, sex, gender, class or governmental politics.

Since arriving in Portland last December, this spoken-word open mic has been an instant connection to new friends and a push for my own courage to get work out and off the page. It is a chance to close your eyes and enter the intimate wordplay over the sleepy Tuesday night. Poetry is making a comeback to larger audiences and I encourage you to explore the growing glow of homespun literature. Come for a listen and stay
to share.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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