The Moab Poets and Writers (MPW) will host an open mic potluck on Friday, June 27 at the Rotary Park. Members of the MPW invite everyone to come out at 6:30 p.m. to share a dish and poetry or short prose.

Beginning in 1996, the MPW started informally hosting early-morning poetry readings at the Eklectica Café. As time passed, the group decided to officially organize public open mic readings. The MPW incorporated in 2000 as a nonprofit organization and, in addition to the bi-monthly open mic nights, also hosts “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation” on the third Wednesday of each month, publishes regional anthologies, and offers several writing workshops each year.

“The group published ‘Glyphs,’ their first anthology of poetry, in 2000 followed by ‘Glyphs II,’ showcasing a wide variety of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction,” MPW treasurer Marcy Hafner said. “Four years later, under the guidance of Joan Gough, ‘Glyphs III’ focused their criteria on events in southeast Utah . After that ambitious endeavor, Gough spearheaded the illustrated anthology ‘Desert Voice,’ which was published in 2011. The following year, with Barbara Galler at the helm and Carol Delaney as the illustrator, ‘Desert Voice 2012’ was released.”

Members of the MPW pay a yearly due of $20 and receive discounts on workshops. Information about MPW is available at moabpoetsandwriters,org. To become a member, contact Hafner at 435-259-6197 or email her at

MPW open mic nights are open to the public, and MPW membership is not needed to participate.

“All our events are open to the public and we encourage you to bring your friends, out-of-town guests, neighbors and family to support our local writers,” Hafner said.

Board-member Kathy Grossman said the MPW open mic night was one of the reasons she decided to move to Moab .

“Each open mic can have its own flavor and surprises,” she said. “I first attended an open mic three years ago as a traveler. That magical night became one of the reasons I decided to move here.”

Subjects at the open mic night are open and can be poetry, short prose readings, and songs. The work should be the writer’s own. Writers do not have to be previously published to participate in any of the MPW events.

“Our open mics are for writers, performers, and listeners,” Grossman said. “We especially like to see bashful writers who have never read aloud before at these events because it’s a new and powerful way to share language beyond blogging and producing manuscripts.”

The evening opens with eating and socializing before the readings begin. Grossman said the crowds at open mic nights, which can range from 15 to 40 attendees, are very low-key and welcoming.

“Writers are often quite nervous, but, even for a first-timer, it’s a warm and welcoming audience,” she said. “It’s also a wonderful free date night. Bring your sweetie and join us.”

What: Moab Poets and Writers’ Open Mic Night

When:Friday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Moab Rotary Park, 680 E. Mill Creek Drive

Cost: Free

“Each open mic can have its own flavor and surprises.”

Open mic night offers opportunities for writers to share their work