Open Mic

The Yakima Coffeehouse Poets presents Open Mic Night on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May. We would like to thank Larson Gallery, W Nob Hill Blvd & 16th Ave, YVC Campus, in Yakima, for allowing us the use of its Gallery Space. This event is open to the public and people are encouraged to read their original poetry (please keep your reading time to about 4 minutes). Donations are welcome at the door.

Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

Next Open Mic night…
Wednesday,
November 13, 2019, 7pm

Larson Gallery, YVC Campus
(Corner of W Nob Hill Blvd & 16th Ave)

Free parking for open mic night is available in the main YVC
parking lot next to Parker Field, east of Larson Gallery.

Host: Ellensburg poet, Joe Powell

Joseph Powell

Joseph Powell has published seven collections of poetry. The most recent is The Slow Subtraction: A.L.S., from MoonPath Press, 2019. Others include Holding Nothing back (Main Street Rag, 2019), Hard Earth (March Street, 2010), and Preamble to the Afterlife (2013). He co-wrote a textbook on meter with Mark Halperin called Accent on Meter, (NCTE, 2004). His book of short stories, Fish Grooming & Other Stories, (2007) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. He won a National Endowment for the Arts award, and the Distinguished Professor for Artistic Accomplishment Award, in 2009. He is now retired, an emeritus professor at CWU.


THE LAST BEE
         —By Joseph Powell

As we lifted the super to the pickup-bed
a single bee flew from the last frame
like a soldier from vanquished Rome
as if in disbelief it had waited for our plundering.
It flew toward the hawthorn tree and pond.
How long had it wandered these halls
after the apocalypse, or the mid-day
exodus to some other land of milk and honey—
was it asleep in some meadow
when its world changed utterly?

Was the queen accountable, enforcing
some infertile exile? Chalkbrood, wax moth,
disappearing disorder?

To be the last of anything—
a race, speaker of a language, clan—
is to see in the future nothing but the past,
to roam the silent chambers of the hive—
cells broken and oozing, others capped
and tight as a miniscule drum,
to walk across the nursery plot,
brown heads rowed like burnt tombstones,
and hear the humless hum resound.

Yakima Coffeehouse Poets


Like the Poetry contest, Open Mic Night got its start at Allied Arts. The event was initiated in 2005 by local poet Elaine Smith and was encouraged by the former Allied Arts director Elizabeth Herres Miller and her successor Jessica Moskwa.  They felt a monthly forum where local poets could read original work would complement the annual contest. They were right. Poets Claire Carpenter, Dotty Armstrong, Chuck Forster, Rod Nelson, Linda Brown, Ed Stover, Elaine Smith, and Mark Fuzie have kept Open Mic alive.

Open Mic Night was popular at the outset and remains so as a program now run by the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets.  Come read a poem and meet your fellow Yakima poets.