January 18, 2005 > Open Mic
by Florence Ion and Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson
Forget about the smoky clubs filled with the black-clad, finger-snapping clientele of yesteryear. Today's poetry readings are fun events that draw all sorts of people ready and willing to share their most personal writings.
From the budding teenage poet to the seasoned writer, Open Mic Nights are a chance for those with literary leanings to have their work heard by others. "It's a very healthy thing for the community to come together and share different art forms," said Mission Coffee manager Jennifer Stewart.
Open Mic Nights had a resurgence in the mid-90's when the popularity of coffee houses begin to grow. They have become a regular event at numerous coffee houses that hope to encourage the arts in their own area. Participants go before the audience one by one sharing their most intimate of writings or playing a tune they may have written themselves. The mood during these events is welcoming and encouraging, here anyone has the potential to be the next Robert Frost.
Below are several coffee houses in the area that offer the opportunity for those yearning to be heard.
Mission Coffee in Fremont is located at 151 Washington Blvd. in Fremont. They host their Open Mic nights the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. The age group usually consists of teens and young adults and the night involves poetry and music.
The Bistro in Hayward hosts their Open Mic nights almost every Monday at 7pm. Here audience members can grab a cup of coffee or a locally brewed beer. The Bistro is located at 1001 B Street in Downtown Hayward.
Paulo's Lounge, also located in Hayward at 25088 Hesperian Blvd, hosts Open Mike nights every Monday night at 10pm.