RICHLAND — Poets, from the shy to the bold, are invited to share their creativity Dec. 3 at Open Mic Poetry Reading Night at WSU Tri-Cities.
 
“We have had performance poets and hip-hop poets, cowboy poets, rhyming or free verse poets, even chanting poets,” said Leonard Orr, WSU Tri-Cities academic director of the College of Liberal Arts, an English professor, published poet and host of the monthly Open Mic events. “We had poets who are in their 80s, fifth graders, WSU students of all ages, and people of all backgrounds and interests as both poets and supporters.”
The Open Mic is at 7:30 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium at 2710 University Drive. Admission is free and open to the public.
 
A sign-up sheet is passed around when the event starts. Each person who signs up is invited to the microphone to read an original poem — preferably no longer than one to one and a half pages. As time allows, there will be a second or third round of poetry. For more information, visit www.tricity.wsu.edu/poetry.
 
“An open mic is an opportunity for poets to try out new works and get an immediate response — normally applause, as well as appropriate laughs or gasps or sighs,” Orr said. “We get people whose poems have been published and we get people who just wrote their first poem last week.”
 
The Open Mic Poetry Reading Nights are part of the WSU Tri-Cities Liberal Arts Season, sponsored by the Richland Arts Commission in celebration of the 20th anniversary as a WSU campus. Usually held on the first Thursday of the month, Open Mic nights are taking a break for the holidays and will resume Feb. 4, 2010.