Louisvile loves poets and vice a versa.[Extras]


Church on the Rocks is one of the friendliest weekly open mics in town for poets. It occurs every Sunday at the Monkey Wrench (beginning around 8 p.m.)  and is hosted by the Troubadours of Divine Bliss and an array of guest hosts when they are on tour. An array of amazing poets and musicians have been seen on their stage from local and other areas. I've met many kind hearts at this event, including J.P. Hagan.

JP Hagan was a very talented writer and poet who passed away in 2010. It was sad news for the Louisville Creative Community. J.P.'s fiction writing style was beautiful and poetic, but he was possibly best known for his clever quips that he published in a book titled Ahum, Ahum, Ahum and distributed freely to people at open mics as gifts. The books used to be available at Carmichaels, and would make great stocking stuffings if there are any left. They are full of chuckles. 
Matthew Presley is another poet that I originally met at Church on the Rocks. He is perhaps one of the most dedicated poets and supporters of openmics and creative music/literary events in Louisville. He's known as the Bard in Blue for the blue jacket and hat that he often wears. He began writing down his dreams in elementary school and trying to thread them together with possible story lines. He began writing poetry during his second year in college. The first several poems that he wrote were for a woman that he was dating and his love for poetry outlasted the relationship.  Although he didn't become a regular open mic performer until he found Church on the ROcks, he got his start with the Louisville Poetry Guild and InKY. He 
added a Native American High Spirits Sparrowhawk wooden flute   to his poetry reading in the last year. Since then he has made appearances and regularly attended most of the open mics in town. 
The Louisville Poetry Guild is a local non-profit that publishes a quarterly journal called The Prism and accepts submissions via their web site.
InKY is one of Louisville's longest running literary events, with an event every second Friday of the month. The events are free to attend and host an open mic portion, live music, and featured readers. They offer a small honorarium for their featured readers and have hosted writers from all over the country. 
Stone Soup is a monthly poetry showcase held the last Sunday of the month at The Bard's Town from 5 - 7 p.m. There is an open mic session, live music, and featured poets.  The gathering is hosted by poet Sheri Wright.
Sheri Wright has published 5 books of poetry through Front Line Publishing and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in addition to being nominated to be listed in the Great Kentucky Writers Series at Carnegie Center. She also hosts a literary radio show titled "From the Inkwell" on Crescent Hill Radio (which is looking for sponsors to make tax deductible contributions). In addition to writing, she offers editing and photography services. She began writing as a child but was not interested in poetry until about 2004 when she learned poetry doesn't all have to be about "unicorns jumping over rainbows".
"I started writing song lyrics and got involved with wirters' groups; that's when I discovered free verse and that I didn't have to conform to a form. That opened the floodgates, and I learned I could write about the split open underbelly of things which was better than just writing about lollypops and sunshine."
Beverly Frederick is an up and coming poet in Louisville who began publicly reading her writing at Sub Rosa the Gypsie Courtyard in 2010. It took a while for her to get up the courage to take the stage but she is quickly becoming one of Louisville's poetic staples. 
Kentucky State Poetry Society  is an organization that was founded by Kentucky poets in 1966. Members enjoy an annual poetry contest, a quarterly publication called Pegasus, an annual retreat, and networking. They are also currently hosting a poetry contest for students. 
Still in doubt of how awesome Louisville's poets are? Check out this playlist I made from youtube videos of them
About Jessica Lynn
Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.
More articles from Jessica Lynn
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