Open Mic

Open Mic Open mic opportunities are available at many poetry events and venues in the Portsmouth area and beyond. Use our Open Mic Tips to get the best out of your open mic experience!


  • Choose a poem that will hold people’s attention. IF YOUR POEM GOES OVER THE PAGE IT’S PROBABLY TOO LONG FOR OPEN MIC.
  • Include time for any introductions and links. (It’s possible to spend longer on this than your poem!).
  • Stick to the time. Poems take longer to read out-loud than silently. Read your poem outloud at home beforehand – and time yourself.
  • Memorise as much of your poem as possible. Sincerity is appreciated just as much (if not more) than a ‘performance’.
  • Arrive early for a practice if you’re unfamiliar with using a microphone.
  • Remember, nobody likes every poet – so don’t feel the need to apologise to the audience. However, be kind to them. They should be left wanting to hear you again – rather than wondering when you’re going to stop!
  • Remember, if you stick to time, people will listen. If you stumble over your words, go back to the beginning of that line, and read it again.
  • Remember, good poems don’t come easily. Avoid poems written on the back of beer mats, flyers, etc. If you’re serious, take advantage of poetry workshops and courses. Read contemporary poets and subscribe to at least one poetry magazine.

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