The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

April 22, 2013

Oak Orchard Review holds open mic night

By HOWARD BALABAN
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The second issue of Oak Orchard Review went live last month, and Saturday night the staff of the online magazine hosted Poetry at The Pillars to celebrate National Poetry Month. 

Karen Jones, the poetry editor of OOR, said the goal of the publication is to bring writers together. Saturday night’s lightly-attended poetry reading was a chance for those writers’ works to be heard aloud. She said stories and poems were meant for just that.

“Walt Whitman used to go to fairs to recite his work, and he had tens of thousands of people come listen to him,” Jones said. She acknowledged the reason for that was probably just as much for who he was rather than what he wrote. However, Jones also said there are people in the community who have a bit of the bard in them.

“I know Medina has a community that likes things like this,” she said, noting how she knows friends who have friends who enjoy writing, poetry, and art in general.

“We want to help people realize that there is a vibrant writing community here,” Jones explained. 

The idea behind OOR came from, of all things, Jones’ honeymoon.

“My husband and I spent a week in Vermont,” she recalled. “We spent a week driving through tiny towns, and every one of them had a theater, a coffeehouse, and an art gallery.”

With that in mind Jones and several others - including her husband, Ric - put OOR out into the world last fall. Saturday marked the publication’s third live event. Previously, it had also been at Medina’s Shirt Factory Cafe.

Jones said OOR shares a common goal with another of her interests, the Orleans Renaissance Group.

“It’s all about bringing people together and celebrating the arts,” she said. “Saturday nights can be fun right here. You don’t have to drive to Buffalo or Rochester.”

The next issue of Oak Orchard Review publishes in July. The deadline for submitting material is June 1, and Jones said there will be a reading in July to coincide with that issue.