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Open Mics Take a Virtual Turn - Katie Haigh


Things have rapidly changed for us all. We all have things we enjoy doing which we currently cannot do. Well maybe not. I love to attend poetry open mic nights and noticed that a regular open mic night in Sale had changed to a virtual open mic with the aid of the app Zoom. It was very surreal seeing everyone in their own homes each sharing their own poetry, flash fiction or something from their favourite writer. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s words and getting to converse and respond. It really lifted the mind positively. I’m looking forward to attending another open mic soon. It’s a great way of meeting new people in our shared love of the written word. Andy N had this to say “Doing Write Out Loud Sale online was a great experience for both myself and my partner, Amanda Steel. I’ve done podcasts with writers for my podcast series, Spoken Label. but that is usually on a one to one basis, never twenty people tuning in at once.”

In relation to carrying this on, I have co-run with Steve Smythe and Amanda, Stretford’s leading spoken word open mic night, the always welcoming ‘Speak Easy’ for around 18 months, with great success. After we were unable to carry on the night temporarily because of the covid 19 crisis at our usual venue, we decided to carry on Speak Easy via Zoom on 1 April 2020. Using Zoom, we intend to keep the night going, in our usual friendly and approachable way. The level of interest we have received has proved incredible, in fact to such a level we are having to host two events in April (the second just to keep it separate Spoken Label) and if the situation is the same in May, it’s likely to be two again”.

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