Well Rockford, after a year of open mikes and tireless involvement, I am takinga break and heading back to school in Memphis, TN. It is the love of writing, performing,and hosting open mikes that has kept me away from completing my bachelor’s degree. However,Rockford has had a great year of poetry, spoken word, and open mikes. Over a year ago when Ireturned, there was very little going on. I had come back home from the east coast, where open mikesand poetry take place on an every day basis. I was not used to seeing this, and had to add on to whatwas going on here – an open mike and readings by the Poetic Justice League 4 America that took placeat the Lyric Lounge. I succeeded by approaching two venues here, and since then we have not lookedback. Open Mike Night at Katie’s Cup is the premier open mike in Rockford. IGNITE, the local youngadult group for networking and community involvement is having their first this Thursday at Meg’sDaily Grind on N. Alpine. It’s an all poetry open mike. Hopefully it will be a success, and they willcontinue to have it after I leave. There is still a lot of potential for open mikes in this area. I encourageother poets, writers, etc. to approach coffee houses and the like to start more. I look at them as communitygatherings where we share art, discussions, and networking takes place. In these rough economic times, webenefit from gathering and art. Open Mike Night will continue at Katie’s Cup. Justin Saichek, a local poet whoI’ve groomed and supported will take over as the host their. Continue to show up and be apart of something special. Look out for IGNITE (They have a facebook page) and their open mikes in the future. I’ll be here inspirit.