I was thrilled to be the featured poet at Dagny’s First Saturday Open Mic on September 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.  I read selections from my upcoming poetry chapbook, Coffee Café Customers:  An Americana Collection. Over 25 folks filled the backroom and ohed and ahed and laughed as I shared my vignettes about the various people I have observed while chilling at Barnes & Nobles and Dagny’s coffee cafes the past six years.  I was so delighted to see dear old friends and new who came out to support me.  After I read, we continued with a splendid Open Mic with many thought-provoking, entertaining performances.

At the end of the evening, Chris Nielsen and I presented Portia Choi with silk scarf and a beautiful pinecone wreath made by Chris’ mother, Bernice, who is 90 years old.  Portia is Bakersfield’s “Poetry Lady” and founder of Poetry Open Mics, KernPoetry.com and supporter of many events promoting world peace.  We greatly appreciate all Portia does to encourage and nurture so many individuals in Bakersfield – and how she has created a caring community of creative souls.

I have the privilege and honor of interviewing Open Mic participants for KernPoetry.com.  I ask them for the backstories to their poems, what poets have inspired them, and what advice they may have to give to others wanting to write poetry.  I am always impressed and enlightened by their answers to these questions!  I encourage you to check out the website, KernPoetry.com, and read some of the interviews.  Chris Nielsen designs the eye-catching banners for each interview.

There is also a listing under “POETS’ PAGE” of BIOS and photos of over 20 local authors and their publications – a great resource for those hoping to learn about exciting authors of poetry from Kern County!