Kory Wells at mic during Poetry in the Boro, hosted by The Green Dragon. SUBMITTED
Poetry in the Boro will celebrate its first anniversary August 11 during Boro Art Crawl.
The monthly open-mic night offers local poets a chance to share their writing. Each session begins with featured guest authors reading selected works, after which the microphone is turned over to the audience.
Participants range from amatuer writers who have never performed in front of others to published authors giving a taste of upcoming books.
Kory Wells, Murfreesboro's first poet laureate and principal founder of Poetry in the Boro, had started reading at Boro Art Crawl when Kerri French, a fellow poet, reached out to her. Along with three other poets, they formed The Delineators and began performing together in early 2016.
When their work sparked people's interest and generated a positive response, Wells looked for ways to involve the public. She approached Boro Art Crawl organizers and Dr. Jennifer Kates, director of MTSU Write, for help.
With their aid, Poetry in the Boro was born. MTSU Write, a mentorship program, has sponsored and helped organize events from the beginning. Wells is quick to note that Denise Wilson and Allison Boyd Justus, two other Murfreesboro-based poets, were instrumental as well.
The monthly meetings quickly caught on through social media, and the turnout has far exceeded their expectations.
"It started out as an event," said Kates.
But "it has become a community," finished Wells.
"It's like we picked up this rock and there were all these poets under there," said Kates.
Not only are wordsmiths eager to participate, so are businesses.
"The support that local businesses have given by providing venues has been huge," said Wells. Let's Make Wine has been a frequent host of the event, along with The Green Dragon and Austin Audio Visual Design.
However, the growing enthusiasm may soon exceed available space.
While plans are in the works to adapt to the growing popularity, Wells has bigger ambitions.
"Becoming a community in ways other than an open-mic night is what I would like to see," she said.
This includes possible writing workshops in the future, and maybe even an anthology.
Learn more about Murfreesboro's community of poets at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Let's Make Wine.
The evening will consist of readings by featured writers and an exhibit of photographs taken by Tennessee photographer Terry Price paired with poems, several written by participants of Poetry in the Boro.