Bozeman Poetry Collective
Colleen Angarone | Friday Apr. 1st, 2022
In a lofted upstairs section of Bozeman’s Valhalla Meadery, Jasmine Jackson awaits participants for Bozeman Poetry Collective’s open mic night. With a glass of Dragon’s Blood Mead in one hand and a pen in the other, Jasmine (they / them / their) scribes poetry as they talk about the Collective. The sole administrator of Bozeman Poetry Collective, Jasmine has organized the start of open mic poetry nights every Wednesday at the Meadery and the last Friday of every month at Steep Mountain Tea House since the beginning of March.
In their youth, Jackson began crafting poetry. Currently, poetry provides an everyday creative and emotional outlet, one where they can write a poem in different shapes. Jackson often writes about their beloved cat, and soon hopes to write a heart-shaped poem about the pet. In Jasmine Jackson’s eyes, poetry is their world.
At the moment, open mic nights at Vahalla and Steep see an average of twelve participants read their poetry. Since Bozeman Poetry Collective switched locations from the Country Bookshelf to Valhalla Meadery, it has been difficult to gather as many people, especially on frigid evenings, says Jackson. With warmer days and nights in our future, hopefully more Bozemanites will join in on the poetic events created by the Collective.
Bozeman Poetry Collective chooses an organization to donate to every month, collecting funds at every open mic night. In March, the group donated proceeds from a virtual Read-A-Thon to the Gallatin County Food Bank. Since April is National Poetry Month, Bozeman Poetry Collective will have some exciting opportunities for residents to share their poetry and raise money for the Bozeman Public Library. On April 14th, a donation event and open mic for students and community members will be held on MSU’s campus. The exact location and time are still to be determined and will be added to the calendar at bozemanmagazine.com/.
A different poet is featured every month at the Tea House. Last month, traveling poet Todd Boss shared poetry from his upcoming book, Someday the Plan of a Town. At the end of April, Jasmine Jackson will highlight their work as this month’s featured poet.