Poetry Field Report: Red Emma's Mother Earth Poetry Vibe - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Poetry Field Report: Red Emma’s Mother Earth Poetry Vibe

Not in My Neighborhood by Antero Pietila Red Emma's Bookstore Baltimore, Maryland: credit Anthony C. Hayes

I haven’t been getting out enough to see what’s happening beyond my small sphere in the poetry world. I host the Evil Grin reading in Annapolis, I am a semi-regular at the 3rd Saturday readings at New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, but only on rare occasion have I gotten to other places to check out what they are doing with live poetry. Maybe my recent outing will be the beginning of a new era of getting out there. Let’s assume so, even if I’m kidding myself. Anyway, Analysis the Poet, a dynamic spoken-word artist who has been a featured poet at my readings several times, had been telling me about the poetry reading series he hosts in Baltimore for I don’t know how long, let’s say long enough for me to be embarrassed at not having gone to check it out. Finally I got up there on August 5. Now I can report to you on Red Emma’s Mother Earth Poetry Vibe. They will have another reading on November 4, 2017, so mark your calendar.

The readings take place at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse at 30 West North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. The bookstore is full of progressive and fringe literature, or at least that is the best way I know how to describe it. My favorite kind of bookstore. They call it a “radical infoshop”.

Rocky Jones reviews Red Emma's Mother Earth Poetry Vibe

Did I finally land on an audience that has good enough taste to be impenetrable by my work?

They serve vegan food, and I was able to find a scrumptious dish, even though I am not their target market. So, the rumors are true, vegan food is good, and Red Emma’s is an excellent place to find out how good.

The format includes a featured poet and a poetry open mic. The feature at this one was Elliot Axiom from North Carolina. Elliot has a voice like a gene-splicing experiment between James Earl Jones and a grizzly bear. He’s nearly grizzly-bear sized as well. An absolutely lovable guy with very heart-felt poems that I enjoyed.

Analysis emcees with a smooth style that shows he knows and appreciates the community he is serving, and it also shows he listens deeply to the poetry that is being delivered at the mic. On August 5, the open mic participants included people who crafted their poems well and delivered them well.

The limit for open mic is a single poem. This might be because the Vibe crowd is a long-poem crowd. So, although I don’t think you should dirty-trick them and bring a full-on epic, it would be okay to bring a long poem.

I am going to say, here, that it felt as though the crowd wasn’t exactly super-receptive to my poetry (not rude, just, uh, distant, I guess). Hopefully that is because my style is a little out of their sphere, and is not an indication that I finally landed on an audience that has good enough taste to be impenetrable by my work.

Though they did not seem to be the audience for my poetry, maybe this was the beginning of their becoming the audience for my poetry. What might they think of your poetry? In fact, if you have never been, and you find yourself intrigued enough to explore Red Emma’s Mother Earth Poetry Vibe on November 4, maybe let me know and I’ll try to get up there again and we can give them another dose of Something Outside Their Sphere. At the same time, we can experience something outside our own spheres.


About the author

Rocky Jones

Rocky Jones produces second-Saturday poetry readings, 6:30pm at Evelyn's in Annapolis, MD. He is a musician, artist, and multimedia poet. His poems have been published in Texture, Gargoyle, and Truck. Contact the author.
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