Hosting and


[me hosting]


Boy was I lucky! The first two open mics I found were run by Rick Lupert and Jason Brain. They were so encouraging. And we became friends.

And I must've paid attention in the way one does so that one can imitate later.

Another host and friend, Paul Hellweg, invited me to guest-host for him while he had to be away. I accepted and did well enough that he asked me to become his co-host at the Frazier Park open mic. We co-hosted for a while, every second Friday of the month at the Coffee Cantina in Frazier Park, California. But weather and other circumstances intervened, and that reading isn't happening now.

And then another host whom I admired and respected, Ron Dvorkin, decided to retire from hosting. Geez! He had created a loyal and generous and welcoming community around him during the sixteen years he'd kept the open mic going. It seemed a shame just to let it end. I asked if I might continue it.

Independently, and for the same reasons, "Goose" Gregus had similarly volunteered.

Ron Dvorkin decided to have the two of us "succeed" him, as co-hosts at the Last Saturday of the Month Open Mic in Encino - Tarzana. Ron Dvorkin made our lives much simpler by finding a so far permanent home for the reading at the Encino - Tarzana Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

That brought me to the attention of Shalah Chamanara, who manages the Westwood Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. The Westwood Branch had hosted another long running open mic whose host had also decided to retire. Shalah asked me to restart that open mic, and I am working with librarian Joel Boucher to do that.

A friend of mine, Melissa Alvarado, asked me to work with her on hosting a blogtalkradio sequence called The Nebraska Girl Lit Hour, We tried it, and it seemed to work. We interview a poet, usually one with a recent book publication, and invite the poet to talk about his book, his poems, and his work.

Oh! And in a fit of humor - but also for continuity - we renamed the sequence The Nebraska Girls Lit Hour, and I became a Nebraska girl by declaration.

The Nebraska Girls Lit Hour is currently in hiatus, but watch for an announcement soon (I hope).

But we were offered and seized the opportunity to host a sequence of open mics at Beyond Baroque, one of the shrines in Los Angeles for the spoken word. We named the sequence The Nebraska Girls at Beyond Baroque and we're off and running with it. We host there on the fourth Sunday of each month at 2:00 pm. We have two to four featured poets, and an open mic. Come out and listen or participate!

So I am co-hosting for two open mics and hosting another, and so far doing it well. How do I know? Poets who read at the open mics tell me so. (grin) I don't know what other measure I'd use.

Come on out to any one of them. You'll find a welcome as audience or performer.