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For over 6 years, I've hosted a monthly poetry reading series called Uncloistered Poetry. (It actually started as Cloistered Poetry hosted by Black Cloister, a local micro-brewery, but we moved to Calvino's and Black Cloister closed.) It started with my first chapbook, Not All Who Are Lost Wander, from Finishing Line Press.

The community that has grown through the series connects people across the country. We have been the first stage and the farthest for countless poets and writers of all sorts. During the pandemic, we added an online reading series and, through that, have met artists in Italy, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and more.

Tonight is this month's Uncloistered Poetry Live. And tomorrow is Uncloistered Poetry Online.

For today's prompt, pick a favorite poem, by you or by someone else. Read it aloud. Practice reading as if you are going to read to an audience. Listen to the sounds, think about the line endings. Now write about hearing a poem... maybe your first experience with poetry in school, or a poem you heard that resonated with you, or even one you didn't like or one that made you laugh. Write about that connection between the speaker and the listener.

Your extra assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to go to a poetry reading. Maybe in your area or maybe just online. Put it on your calendar and make a plan to go. Who knows, maybe we'll see you at Uncloistered one of these days!

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