Literary Night with an Open Mic at the Bodacious Bookshop

Literary Night with an Open Mic at the Bodacious Bookshop

Tara Dorlag, Staff Writer

It is no secret that Downtown Pensacola has seen immense growth in the past few years. From the very successful Palafox Market hosted on Saturdays to the brand new YMCA, it seems like Pensacola and the rest of the community will only see positive changes and additions in the future. One of those promising additions was created and hosted by one of UWF’s own, Hannah Burns. Burns came up with the idea to host a literary and open mic night with the permission of her place of work, the Bodacious Bookstore and Cafè in Downtown Pensacola. With the permission of the Studer company and her manager, Melissa Smith; Hannah hosted the first Literary Open Mic night this past Wednesday, March 8. 

Hannah is 22 years old and from Panama City, Florida. She is an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is a bookseller and barista at the Bodacious Bookstore and Cafè. When asked how she defines herself, Hannah’s response is that, “I define myself as a storyteller. I concentrate a lot of my writing on how being ex-Mormon, southern and queer interplay in my personal identity.”

In an interview after the event, Hannah was able to give some insight into the event she created and her expectations on how it played out.

What inspired you to host this event? 

To be a safe space for friends to do poetry and a place for UWF students to come.

What was the turnout you were expecting versus the one you received?

I was only expecting a couple of friends, maybe about five people. I was very surprised at the turnout, which happened to be around 25-30 people.

What do you hope people got out of your event? 

To find a new safe space to be able to share their work and view it as a workshop setting to submit their creative ideas.

Would you host another one? If so, would you stick with the same theme or would you do anything different? 

More Generation Z promotion.

Due to the success of the turnout and support of Hannah’s friends, Literary Open Mic Night will now be hosted every second Wednesday of the month, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. It is open to UWF students as well as the general public. The event calls for short stories, poems, flash fiction, etc. of 2,500 words or less. Participants can able to sign up at the entrance of the store and will be listed in designated spots. As spots open up after pieces are performed, more people will be able to participate. Participants are encouraged to perform their own works or works of known authors, such as Poe, Cummings, Dickinson and others. 

This is a new and innovative option for the creative minds of Pensacola to gather and share their thoughts and feelings in a safe space. With inclusivity, drastic age range and a spirit of upliftment from others, Hannah Burns’ Literary Open Mic Night is the piece of openness and notoriety that has been missing in Pensacola. A safe space for all to share their thoughts and feelings, others in the community are invited to participate or just come and enjoy a night of creative passion. The next date is April 12, 2023. For more information, please visit 5431213.