Mic Check Poetry Fest

November 5-7, 2021


Mic Check Poetry Fest is a three day celebration of spoken word, designed for poets, poetry lovers, performers, and those who seek the unmistakable feeling of community. Produced by Caleb "The Negro Artist" Rainey and Iowa City Poetry, the festival is packed with a variety of events, from performances by Iowa and global poets to a showcase highlighting young writers and nationally acclaimed artist Javon Johnson, making it unlike any other festival in Iowa. In the true spirit of spoken word, Mic Check Poetry Fest doesn’t only offer a chance to listen, it gives space for attendees to engage and create through a panel discussion, writing workshops, along with a poetry slam and open mic. All festival events will be hybrid, with the option of in-person or virtual attendance.

Schedule of Events

Key

Youth Programming (Ages 13-18)

Adult Programming (Ages 18+)

All Ages Welcome!


Friday - November 5, 2021

Poetry in Motion

A live show featuring top spoken word performers sharing their work with the accompaniment of the acclaimed Gerard Estella band. This show broadens the definition of spoken word by adding music to the powerful words brought to the stage. It speaks to anyone who appreciates poetry, music, and performance. Hosted by dynamic MC Caleb "The Negro Artist" Rainey, the lineup includes Akwi Nji, Larry Moore, Laura Johnson, Jocelyn Rifas, David Duer, and Kelsey Bigelow. This show is made possible through a partnership with The Iowa City Senior Center.

 Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm 

Location: The Iowa City Senior Center, 28th South Linn Street


Saturday - November 6, 2021

10:30am - 12:30pm

Youth Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Javon Johnson Teen Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 10:30am-12:00pm

Location: Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, 123 South Linn Street 

Adult Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Akwi Nji Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 10:30am-12:00pm

Location: MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street (on the Ped Mall)

Adult Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Adult Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Instructor to be announced. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 10:30am-12:00pm

Location: Public Space One, 229 South Gilbert Street.

1:30pm-2:30pm

Spoken Word Poetry Panel Discussion

Festival headliner Dr. Javon Johnson and artists from Poetry in Motion will shed light on the history of spoken word, their personal relationships with the art form, and some tried and true techniques. Moderated by Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey, the panel will conclude by taking questions from the audience. 

 Time: 1:30pm-2:30pm

Location: MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street (Ped Mall)

2:45pm-4:15pm

Adult Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Javon Johnson Adult Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 2:45pm-4:15pm

Location: MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street (Ped Mall)

Youth Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Midwest Writing Center Teen Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Instructor Chris Britton. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 2:45pm-4:15pm

Location: Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room D, 123 South Linn Street

Youth Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop

Iowa Youth Writing Project Teen Spoken Word Poetry Writing Workshop. Instructor to be announced. Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 2:45pm-4:15pm

Location: Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Rooms B & C, 123 South Linn Street

6:30pm-8:30pm

Poetry Slam and Open Mic

After a day of writing workshops, the evening poetry slam and open mic offers an opportunity for attendees to take the stage and share their own work. This event is essential to Mic Check Poetry Fest as it speaks to the heart of spoken word: listening and sharing, call and response, acceptance and vulnerability. This evening slam and open mic is a time not only to experience spoken word, but to embody it. 

 Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Location: TBD

9:00pm-10:30pm

Late night slam-themed movie at FilmScene

Details and registration coming soon.

 Time: 9:00pm-10:30pm

Location: FilmScene


Sunday - November 7, 2021

Javon Johnson & IC Speaks Showcase

The peak of the festival, the final showcase features headliner Javon Johnson, accompanied by youth poets from the Iowa City area. After a brief meet and greet reserved for young writers, Dr. Johnson will begin the showcase at the historical Englert Theatre. Expected to be the biggest attraction of the festival, the event will draw on both local crowds and those from around the Midwest to see award-winning poet and performer Javon Johnson and the talented teen poets of IC Speaks

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Location: The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington Street

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