|Jonathan Taylor of Crystal Clear Creators comperes the open mic at Leicester Shindig!|
Poetry, it is often observed, is a highly competitive field, with a lot of people struggling for a little attention. But nights like Shindig! remind me that the poetry 'scene' can also be highly supportive environment, with established poets happily getting up to share new work alongside those new to writing or performing. Readers share recent successes and the audience take genuine pleasure in them. Everybody's work is given the space to be heard by the open-minded. I'm a little ashamed not to have made a note of the name of the open mic poet in question, but I particularly enjoyed a poem about cats and mortality by one of the readers in Leicester.
I know that probably sounds a little gushy, and maybe I idealise. There may well be plenty of unfriendly open mics, but it was great to be reminded that poetry sometimes really can feel like a 'community', however over-used that word may have become.