Poetry open mic gaining steam at Abbott Square

A poster for the Inter | Act spoken-word open mic series at Abbott Square in Santa Cruz

“Inter|Act” gets participants up in front of an audience to read their poetry every other Tuesday outdoors at Abbott Square. The next session is Valentine’s Day, and the theme, its host says, is “going to be whatever love means to you.”

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There’s a potentially cool new scene brewing at Abbott Square, and it’s called “Inter|Act.” It’s a spoken-word open mic, designed to get people up in front of the public reading their poetry. The event will take place live at Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz every other Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m., the next one on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The debut of the event was Jan. 31, and host Kimberley Bermender reported that, though the crowd was small, it was enthusiastic. She also said that the next open mic will be themed on, of course, Valentine’s Day.

“It’s going to be whatever love means to you,” she said.

“I was thrilled that we had the number that we had for the first open mic,” she said, in reference to the seven people who participated in the reading and the audience of about 15, that on a chilly night in the middle of winter for a venture few have heard about yet. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, this could turn into a popular thing.

Bermender, a poet and photographer in her own right, said she will also bring in prominent poets to speak from time to time. Former Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate David Sullivan will be her first guest, to read Feb. 28.

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