While it’s hard to beat the opportunities for poets and poetry events in the Twin Cities, Rochester is growing rapidly in its poetry scene. There are many local poets who perform at open mics, feature in performances, and collaborate with other artists to create interesting new work.
There are a growing number of poetry readings, showcases, and Poetry Slams. Of course, we are hosting our combination Poetry Slam and Day of the Dead Celebration, Day of the Dead Poets Slam, again this year. But in addition to our own events, there are other organizations hosting Poetry Slams.
The Diversity Council has organized two Poetry Slams around a theme, the first being a Poetry Slam in honor of Martin Luther King Junior, and the second a Poetry Slam honoring Harvey Milk. Their third event in this series will be in Thursday October 20th, honoring Dolores Huerta. We have been so excited to help them out with putting on these Slams, with Danny Solis as MC, and McKay Bram and Nicole Nfoyonim de Hara trading as DJ.
The Rochester Art Center has hosted Poetry Slams in the past, and has partnered with Diversity Council to present their Poetry Slams. In addition, they have co-presented Day of the Dead Poets Slam 2015, and this year’s event, with us. Rochester Art Center may hold more Poetry events in the future, they have been very supportive and encouraging of the Poetry community here in Rochester.
In addition to Poetry Slams, many of Rochester’s current Open Mics have been very supportive of Poetry. C4’s Open Mic Night at Cafe Steam, every Thursday night at 7:00 PM, sees many poets reading, performing, and even trying out new work. C4’s Open Mic used to be held at the Creative Salon, until their organization left the building in recent months to focus full time on finding a permanent space. Their Open Mic Night was moved across the street to Cafe Steam, which means while it is relatively new to Cafe Steam, this Open Mic has been going strong for a couple years now.
With lots of new restaurants and breweries in Rochester comes more opportunities for performance. Forager Brewing Company has recently starting holding their own Open Mic Night every Monday night at 7:30 PM, and Poets are are welcome to take a turn at the mic.
If you’re more interested in writing poetry and not as much into performing, Rochester has its own chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, SEMN Poets. They meet once a month to discuss poetry, drink coffee, and sometimes listen to a guest speaker. From their website,
Southeastern Minnesota Poets meets every first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM in Buena Vista Condos party room, Rochester. Poets of all levels and interests are welcome and encouraged to attend. We have a short business meeting, educational segment, and poetry read-around. Occasional guest speakers. Always fresh coffee!
I have yet to check out a meeting myself, but I’m planning to very soon! I’ve been speaking to Sue, one of their organizers, and she is very welcoming.
These are only some of the growing opportunities for poetry in Rochester, MN. If you know more, share in the comments!