Island Poet Laureate Michele Bombardier to host Open Mic Night at the BARN

BARNWhat do Poet Laureate’s do when they’re not reviewing poems or thinking up a new verse or two? Michele Bombardier, the island’s first-ever Poet Laureate, has come up with an unusual twist to her new gig.

She’s hosting a Bainbridge Open Mic (Night) at the BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network) from 7 PM-8:30 PM. on Thursday January 19th.  It’s the first in a series hosted by Bombardier, and it will include a featured reading followed by Open Mic time, where anyone in the audience is encouraged to step up and read one of their own compositions, or perhaps one they admire. The BARN is located at 8890 Three Tree Lane N.E.

“The Bainbridge Open Mic at BARN (BOMB!) series will showcase regional poets as features, provide a chance for local poets to share Michele Bombardier reads a poem at her September 27, 2022 COBI confirmationtheir work, and allow our community to hear great poetry on a regular basis,” says Bombardier, a long-time Bainbridge Islander. “My hope is that it’ll hit the sweet spot of encouraging and supporting poets of all levels as well as kindle greater appreciation of poetry on the island.”

This month’s featured reader is Bloedel Reserve’s current Creative Resident, Kathryn Smith, of Spokane. She is the author of Self-Portrait with Cephalopod, winner of the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize, as well as the collection Book of Exodus and the chapbook Chosen Companions of the Goblin, winner of the 2018 Open Country Press Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in Poetry NorthwestBellingham ReviewThe JournalMid-American ReviewRedivider, and elsewhere.

In 2017, Smith received a Spokane Arts Grant Award for her interdisciplinary project “Chosen Companions of the Goblin,” which combines poetry, erasure poems, and embroidery. Her poems have also received an Allied Arts Foundation Award and a Pushcart Special Mention. Her collage and mixed media art has been shown in a variety of venues in the Spokane area. She is also part of Spokane photographer Dean Davis’ Pictures of Poets project. Born and raised on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Smith received her MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University.

Signups for Thursday’s Open Mic will start at 6:45 PM at the BARN. Poets will be asked to keep their readings to four minutes or less.

“It’s Michele’s first public appearance as Poet Laureate, so we’re pretty excited to host,” said a spokesperson for the BARN. The event is free and open to the public.

BARN - Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network signSponsors included Arts & Humanities Bainbridge, the City of Bainbridge Island, Bloedel Reserve, and BARN. Financial support for the poet laureate is provided by the Bainbridge Community Foundation. For more information:

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