New to Hoot?

New-to-HootOur monthly Portsmouth Poetry Hoot is growing in popularity — for which we are grateful. We appreciate the Hoot’s support. At the same time, we want to welcome local poets who are new to the Hoot, having just heard about our monthly program of featured readers and our open mic. We also want to welcome poets who are traveling a distance to attend and want to read.

One way or the other, if you are new to the Hoot we welcome you. To aid your first Hoot experience, we’ve put together this set of tips/orientation. We hope it will help you have a successful first visit. And we hope, after that successful first visit, you will return month after month!

First time and want to read?

If it’s your first time coming to the PPLP Hoot to read, it’s a good idea to arrive close to 6:00pm, when the doors open. You can enjoy a delicious meal, and you will be assured of getting a slot to read. Sign-ups begin at 6:00pm and there are twenty slots available. Beyond the twenty, there’s a back-up list for readers, time permitting. We wrap up at 9 pm.

The open mic list of twenty generally fills by 6:30pm. That’s why we encourage newbies to come early. After you sign-up come up front where we’ll be setting up the microphone and audio system. Introduce yourself We look forward to meeting you and hearing your poem.

How it works and “rules of the road” for the Open Mic

Starting at 7 pm we have two featured readers; each reads for twenty minutes. We take a brief break, during which folks can meet the readers, perhaps buy a poet’s chap book, and settle up their bills. We start the Open Mic at 8 pm.

The second hour is the Open Mic. In order to allow the maximum number of poets to read we have several simple community courtesy rules we ask each reader to follow: communal poetry etiquette, if you will. And the primary one is:

“One poem, one page, or two minutes.”

We’ll cover the other rules at the Hoot at the beginning of the Open Mic.

Coming from afar and want to read?

If you are coming from a distance, not sure of your arrival time, and want to be sure to have a chance to read, please send an email ( to us a day or so ahead of the Hoot you plan to attend. We’ll do our best to make sure you get a spot to read.

Be in the know.

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All are welcome!