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Friday August 1st 2014

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A Very Open Mic

By Jennie McKeon

Ever wish that you had a public place to step up on your proverbial soapbox and say aloud the things you want to change?

The 100 Thousand Poets for Change is a global event involving poets around the world, both amateur and professional, to speak up about environmental, social and political change.  There are 95 countries and 450 cities worldwide that are registered to speak up, Saturday, Sept. 24.

Here in Pensacola, local poets will speak in front of Artel Gallery at 11:30 a.m. The event will stream live on the Web around the world as the rest of the international poets recite their works.

A local writer who goes by the name Ryn will be standing tall in front of Artel Gallery on Saturday. She will be using her 50 years of writing experience to speak about domestic violence and fair wages.

“I’ve been exposed to women who have experienced the effects of domestic violence,” Ryn said. “I’ve seen the way it impacts and diminishes their lives. I’ve also come from a long line of union people. Living in Florida, it’s sad to see how experience and education are unappreciated. People work hard, but the monetary reward doesn’t reflect that.”

Ryn came across the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event on Facebook and quickly went to work making the event happen here in Pensacola. Ryn is no stranger to the literary scene in Pensacola since she frequents open mic nights all over the area.

“It’s like a little bit of bohemia here in Pensacola,” Ryn said. “Those who are like-minded artistically can meet and share ideas.

Ryn certainly knows her bohemia since she’s from San Francisco.

The 100 Thousand Poets for Change is the ultimate open mic. Writers young and old will be preserved as Stanford University will archive the entire contents of 100TPC.org.

“The writers will address social issues and attribute to change,” Ryn said. “Their work will be spotlighted and become a part of history.”

The event at Artel will be limited to 50 speakers. Each poet will be given four minutes to perform their rhetoric on the steps in front of the gallery. There will be spoken word, songs, readings and no censorship.

“We will be very prominent,” Ryn said. “You can’t get any better than that.”

If you can’t make it out to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change, there is still ample opportunity to release your inner poet. Every Tuesday at End of the Line Café is poetry night, and every Wednesday is open-mic night where you can hear poetry in all forms. No matter what form of the written word you write you can meet every third Tuesday of the month with the West Florida Literary Association. Writers meet at 6:30 p.m., for cheese and wine and readings begin at 7 p.m., on the second floor of the Pensacola Cultural Center.

Whether you attend 100 Thousand Poets for Change in the crowd or on the soapbox you’re a part of a worldwide call for change. In other words, it’s a pretty productive Saturday.

“The world is a small place, people forget that sometimes,” Ryn said. “100 Thousand Poets for Change links poets of the world. It puts Pensacola on the global map and elevates our cultural profile.”

100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE
WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 24.
WHERE: The front of Artel Gallery
DETAILS: 100tpc.org