25th Trillium Award

Open Floor, Open Readings: PEC Writers Share Their Work

Share |
Open Floor Wellington, 2011

By Roz Bound

First Fridays in Wellington are eagerly anticipated by a dedicated group of writers who gather to read their poetry and prose — either their latest pieces, ongoing projects or revived favourites. Poems, fiction, articles, journal entries, even excerpts from university papers — all are presented in each reader?s unique style, often leading to a vivid discussion.

In October, 2001, I put a notice in the local paper inviting writers to join me in a Wellington café one Friday night. I was taking my MFA at Goddard College at the time, and was inspired by both the energetic readings and the enthusiastic response. I equalled the excitement in Goddard College's Haybarn Theatre, where the readings took place day and night, to that of chariot races in the Coliseum and had thoughts of duplicating the energy! That first Friday, I waited at the café and three people showed up. The following month there were eight, and by the next year, as many as twenty-five people squeezed into the tiny café. Over the years, Open Floor has moved to several locations, including my own home.

Now, twelve years since its first tentative meeting, doors open at the Wellington Library on First Fridays at 7 pm, for a variety of readings, munchies and tea, and the kind of conversation that only emanates from people who have celebrated words together for a long time. Some people arrive nervously, shy about sharing their words in public, but eventually take out that precious book, or scrap of paper, or open up their laptop — and begin. Encouraged, they find out it isn?t so scary after all. Several have since published their own chapbooks. The resonance in the welcoming circle attracts newcomers who end up returning, and guests who visit to see what it?s all about, all enjoying an evening of entertainment and laughter. At the end of the readings, people are often reluctant to leave, lingering to talk.

Following the success of Open Floor Wellington, I began Open Floor Picton, moving further east to attract writers not wanting to drive across the island, especially in the winter. On Third Tuesdays, writers gather at Miss Lily?s Café in Books & Co on Main Street. Some writers go to both evenings, some show up now and then, usually a smaller group but always an eclectic selection of readings. Guest readers often come to Picton on Third Tuesdays to share their latest work. On April 16th, along with our own writers, we are hosting M. E. Csamer reading from her latest book Another Way of Falling. It promises to be a delightful evening, celebrating Poetry Month in style.

Open Floor Wellington: First Fridays, 7:00 pm, Wellington Public Library.

Open Floor Picton: Third Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, Miss Lily?s, Café, Books & Co, Picton

Everyone is welcome to both groups. It is always good to check ahead of time, so if you are visiting the County or new to the County, please, e-mail Roz at [email protected] for more information.

In "the County," Roz Bound facilitates writing workshops, bi-monthly Open Floor nights, founded the ?In-formed Poets? group and coordinates an annual anthology of local writers every International Women?s Day. Her poems and essays have been published in magazines and books in North America and England, including A Room of Her Own. Roz?s first poetry collection, Spirit of Lyme (2003), is now in its third printing. The Fireman?s Child (2012), honours a journey of compassion and forgiveness.

For more information about The Fireman?s Child please visit the SoulSpirit website.

Buy this book at Books & Company in Picton or online at Roz Bound?s website SoulSpirit.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search