Before the Coronavirus pandemic changed everything, McHenry County in Chicago’s far northwest boonies was the home of a perhaps surprising serious outbreak of poetry. Several venues held regular readings or programs that included verse. A long running series at the Raue Center had just concluded but monthly programs at McHenry’s hip coffee house the Hidden Pearl more than took up that slack. The Atrocious Poets group hosted programs at the Old McHenry County Court House in Woodstock as well as offering developmental programs for local poets. Stage Left by the Woodstock Opera House featured poetry and spoken word at monthly events curated by story teller Jim May and musician Cassandra Vohs-Demann. Poets turned up at the estimable local independent bookseller Between the Lynes. Poetry was always included at Coffee House Open Mics at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregations and a student coffee houses at McHenry County College,
Tree of Life was just about to host a major event, Poets in Resistance II which had to be cancelled just three days before it was scheduled when the state went into lockdown last March.
Since then crickets and home bound poets with plenty of time to work and themes and angst to explore with no outlet for their words. Until now!
Kenneth Balmes and Patrick Murfin are cracking the door with a program at Warp Corps, 114 North Benton Street in Woodstock this evening, April 14 from 7 to 9 pm. Poets are encouraged to bring those pent-up verses to share for the Open Mic. Hopefully this will be the first in a new regular series.Kenneth Balmes will co-host the Open Mic with Patrick Murfin.
Covid-19 precautions will be observed. Masks are required and seating will be spaced for social distance. In keeping with current guidelines for indoor events, attendance will be limited to 20.
The reading is free and open to the public. Coffee and water will be available. Guests can bring other non-alcoholic beverages of their own.