Poetry Open Mic

Banner for Poetry Open Mic Night at This House of Books, the community-owned independent bookstore and tea shop in downtown Billings, Montana

We have something special for May's Poetry Open Mic night. Students of high school age will share the creative work they developed during the I Am Montana project. We're hoping to have several readers from Senior High, and Ashley Warren's co-teacher from Free Verse plans to read some poems on behalf of the youth at the Youth Services Center, the local juvenile detention facility here in Billings.

I Am Montana is a collaborative project among three Montana-based organizations, The Free Verse Writing Project, Arts Without Boundaries, and Second Season. Free Verse teaches literature and creative writing to students in juvenile detention facilities across Montana, Arts Without Boundaries brings arts enrichment programs to low-income students, Second Season serves Northern Cheyenne communities, helping young people set and achieve positive goals. Unfortunately, the students served by our three organizations are often left out of public discourse and their important voices are missing from the greater Montana narrative. 

The I Am Montana project seeks to amend this by holding writing workshops, led by guest speakers and artists-in-residence, with the aim of helping our students discover their voices and how they fit into the broader cultural landscape of Montana. Students have the opportunity to study Montana literature, history, and the arts, then collaborate on a publicly-accessible project such as a journal of art and writing or an art exhibit with historical, contemporary, or personal narrative components. In doing so, we hope to give our students a platform to make their voices heard, their stories acknowledged, and their perspectives recognized as vital in the greater discussion of what it means to be a Montanan.

Support for this creative project designed to allow young people to discuss their identities and reflect on their experiences and understandings of Montana comes from the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Montana, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, and the Llewellyn Foundation.

Hosted by This House of Books and Billings Area Literary Arts.

Sign up begins at 5:00.

Readings begin at 5:30.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
This House of Books
224 North Broadway
Billings, MT 59101