Florence Dunington reviews the last Pandora's Inbox Online Open Mic and discusses the question of, will this be the new normal for the magazine's quarterly event?
Last Thursday, Pandora’s Inbox, the University of Chester's creative writing magazine, hosted their first Open-Mic night of the new academic year on Teams. As one of the new student editors, it was really encouraging to see so many people attend, both students and teachers alike, and to have loads of pieces read out.
I feel there is a great misconception about Open-Mic nights; that everyone has to read or else be subject to public shame, but this is just not the case. The event welcomes anyone to come and listen-in and no one has to read if they don’t want to, nor does anyone have to read out something of their own work; it was amazing to hear pieces by other published poets and screenwriters – a personal favourite was an extract that was read from Netflix’s BoJack Horseman - thus the atmosphere last Thursday was very relaxed and comfortable.
Of course, having the evening transition from, what is usually, a face to face event to an online affair took some getting used to, but once it got going, everyone seemed to get into the swing of things and was overall an enjoyable time. The question that is constantly lingering in everyone’s mind, I’m sure, is how long will things be virtual? Will this be the new norm for the University’s hosted events? And unfortunately, any answer I can think to give is constantly discarded, because our Poundland version of Donald Trump can’t make up his mind about the rules and reg’s. For now, I think, we must make the most out of a bad situation, and the success of events like the Open-Mic nights certainly is a promising start!
For anyone interested in reading out their own creative works, or to simply listen with a beer in hand, I would definitely recommend coming along to the next Open Mic Night. Everyone is welcome!
Pandora's Inbox is now open for submissions of flash fiction and poetry from University of Chester Staff and Students. Visit their website for the full terms and conditions and to read previous years publications: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/english/pandora%E2%80%99s-inbox-and-box
Written by Florence Dunington