A First Inky Mic

a guest blog from Declan Keen on performing with us for the first time!

Reading your work for the first time in front of an audience can be a daunting task. It is all too easy to become self-conscious about your writing and yourself, allowing your mind to be clouded with age-old questions of value: is the writing any good? Will people care about what I have to say?

However, Inky Fingers provides an environment where such questions are not only irrelevant, but completely discouraged. They admire each and everyone’s individual voice and, importantly, the written and spoken word free from judgement values. It is not about being good or bad but rather enjoying and celebrating words and voices in all their forms; this passion also extends to the audience and the fellow performers who are equally as supportive.

Before Inky Fingers, I had read my poetry on two occasions, both of which petrified me regardless of how well they went. Yet, my first reading for Inky Fingers was a very different experience. Of course I felt a few nerves before performing my work, that is after all only natural, but from the moment I entered the venue- thanks to the support from the folks at Inky Fingers and the encouragement from the audience and the other performers- I felt calm and composed. It is an atmosphere that is instantly identifiable as being safe and celebratory in nature. Inky Fingers’ open mic night is a night where the most terrified of writers can read their work free from the pangs of fear, safe in the knowledge that everyone has come to support their work and individual voice.

Furthermore, it is a great place to hone and develop your craft; there is a lot to learn from taking part and by listening to the wide variety of voices and unique deliveries that each and every poet and performer comes to share. I thoroughly enjoyed performing on the Inky Fingers stage. It really is a fantastic place for anyone who enjoy words regardless of how long they have been writing them. It is, in my opinion, an opportunity you do not want to miss but don’t just take my word for it, come along and share yours!

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