In April of 2009, the St. Johns Cultural Council wanted to recognize National Poetry Month in Northeast Florida, so they went through their database and rounded up all the poets, writers, and authors for an open mic. That is what it was called, but it was more like an open house. The intent was to put a face on the St. Johns County literary scene. In was known that a scene was thriving downtown, on Monday evenings, but it seemed to be restricted to the patrons of Backstreets.
Chris Bodor had recently moved to St. Augustine from New York, where he was involved with an open mic event in New York City. With the success of the 2009 local observation of National Poetry Month, Bodor set up a podium, a microphone, and some speakers at a coffee shop in August of that year, and returned on the last Sunday of every month. To this day, the signup sheet is filled with names. Poetry friends, family, and fans show up to cheer for the people at the podium. During the Global Pandemic, the series gravitated to an online gathering, where they gained an international audience thanks to Facebook Live and Zoom. Since August of 2009, the series has popped up at a restaurant, a gift shop, a few coffee shops, an art-house movie theater, and a few art galleries.
Currently, thanks to the generosity of The City of St. Augustine and The St. Johns Cultural Council, the Ancient City Poets have been fortunate, since January 2023, to call The Waterworks their home. Located at 184 San Marco Avenue in the Nation’s Oldest City, the Waterworks is a historic Flagler-era brick building constructed in 1898. With exposed brick and tone rich acoustics, the space is host to several concerts, theater productions, workshops, and lectures throughout the year. Managed by the St. Johns Cultural Council, the designated local arts agency for St. Johns County, Florida, the Waterworks is closed during holidays weekends such as Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. When these holidays fall during the last Sunday of the month, the Ancient City Poets gather at alternative locations. Please check back here often for updates on upcoming poetry workshops, open mic shows, and community outreach events.
MAY OPEN MIC – 05/28/2023
The Ancient City Poets will host a community open mic reading on Sunday, May 28th from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Maria Reyes-Jones Gallery, located at 134 Riberia Street.
Since 2009, the Ancient City Poets have been hosting open mic shows that allows poets of all skill levels an opportunity to share their poems with a loving and supportive audience. The sign up sheet will be available at 2:30 pm on the day of the event. The microphone will be turned on at 3:00 pm to spotlight newcomers, new words, and new voices, as well as seasoned readers and open mic long timers.
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