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Open Mic Night, now in sixth year, seeks musicians, writers, others

Del Mar’s monthly Open Mic Night continues to evolve as it enters its sixth year.

Alan Berecka, a reference librarian at the White Library, hosts the event. 

The Open Mic Nights, which were first held in the Stone Writing Center, started as a way to bring established writers and young writers together. 

“I had done a lot of featured readings around Texas and there has always been slam poetry but never an open mic night or writers’ group for poets,” Berecka said. “Del Mar seemed like a good place to start.” 

Those who attend are free to read whatever they would like, whether it is their own work or a personal favorite. 

The event originally was meant for poetry or prose, but Berecka said that all changed last semester. 

“A couple of students showed up last semester with guitars thinking it was something different, but it all turned out great,” he said. 

Now, not only is poetry read at Open Mic Night, but people can bring their guitars or forego them and sing their favorite songs or originals. 

There is only rule they ask people to follow — stay under 10 minutes, preferably under five. 

“The Open Mic Nights have a created a community and that community has created a festival, the Fifth annual People’s Poetry Festival,” Berecka said. 

The poetry festival is a three-day event held at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The free event, held in late February, featured several panelists. 

The Open Mic Nights are held once a month at 7 p.m. in White Library, Room 514. There are typically about 25 people in attendance. 

“It’s an incredibly supportive group. If someone is afraid they are going to get up and be ridiculed, it doesn’t happen,” Berecka said. “People are especially supportive when they know it’s someone’s first time to read a poem in front of others.” 

The upcoming Open Mic Nights are March 18, April 8 and May 6. 

On March 18 there will be a featured poet, Ben Myer, the former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. 

“If you think you might be interested in writing poetry and you haven’t started, the best thing you can do is come and read or in lieu of that listen,” Berecka said. “Reading your poetry is a really important thing to do.” 

For more information contact Berecka at aberecka@delmar.edu or 698-1311. 

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