October 22, 2012 by dmaysone
Last Monday I walked into the ply board tunnel that leads to the constantly-under-construction Fury’s Ferry Goodwill store for ASU’s Open Mic’. Upon arrival, I was one of two attendees. I’d cancelled plans to be able to make it to the event. I wanted to be wowed. Unfortunately for my retro sensibilities, the night did notbegin with mood lighting, cigarette smoke and turtlenecks. However, as a few students shuffled into seats and began reading, I realized that the talented young writers that communed bi-weekly were not there for the coffee or the spotlight, but for a simple slotted time to share their projects with one another. And I was impressed.
What are ASU’s Open Mic’ Nights?
The Open Mic’ events sponsored by Augusta State University’s Creative Writing Program began just last September. The readings take place every other Monday (sometimes Tuesdays) at Goodbooks Café in Martinez during the weeks without NRR meetings. These events are part of a large effort from ASU’s English faculty to help build a community from the sixty-plus students in ASU’s Creative Writing major. Readings begin at five-thirty p.m., and are informal. Typically, the group is intimate enough to gain lots of feedback from peers.
“I really like the camaraderie,” said Senior English major, Cory Bryant. Bryant, who read two of his poems, has attended every Open Mic since they began – as has fellow creative writing student Joseph Ham who describes the Open Mic’s as “Amazing.”
Along with senior students, I was lucky enough to meet some new faces to the program. Transfer student David Reid found out about the events from ASU instructor Simon Grant and said that he “wanted to see what the creative writing program was all about.” I soon learned that he had more than a curiosity in writing and had been crafting chapters of a novel for quite some time. This same revelation resurfaced from writer Joseph Ham, who described several novels, which he is currently writing. Freshman English major Jacob Baggett also attended for the first time and said that he enjoyed the writing talk and that he, too, is working on a novel outline.
Augusta writers who are interested in attending the readings should not be put off by the deceptively small size of the group or unconventional atmosphere of the event. Instead, just understand that there are writers working.
Check out ASU’s Phoenix Magazine for more stories about Augusta’s local events.