About 40 people of all ages gathered at The Blueberry Patch on Sunday, March 6 for the Ink Tank Presents Open Mic for the Literary Arts featuring local writers and poets who read their original work. The Blueberry Patch, an eclectic mix of nature, found art and twinkling lights, has been a supporter of art, literature and music in the Gulfport location since 1994. A slogan at the base of the stage reads “Be fearless on this stage,” and all writers at the open mic event seemed to take note – reading their work to great applause from the audience.
Frances Reilly, an English-born poet who lives in Canada and has wintered in Gulfport for the past four years, read original poetry from three published anthologies, including a poem from the book “Windfishing,” an anthology of poetry about The Beatles. The poem, which incorporates bits of lyrics from familiar Beatles tunes, is based on Reilly’s recollection of seeing The Beatles in the early sixties in Liverpool before they became famous, and what it was like to be a young girl dreaming about leaving home.
“Young women like myself who lived there at the time felt they had nothing left to lose by leaving despite what was emerging,” said Reilly.
Gulfport Poet Laureate Peter Hargitiai attended with copies of his latest novel in translation, “Traveler and the Moonlight,” by Hungarian author Antal Szerb. Hargitai will be featured at the next Ink Tank Presents Literary Afternoon at The Blueberry Patch on April 3.
“These events showcase the creativity of literary artists in the community,” said Hargitai.
For information about future events, find them on Facebook or go to blueberrypatch.org.