New event shines (moon) light on local poets: Moonlit Poets to debut monthly event this Friday

It’s lit — moonlit that is.

Michael Christenson, Juneau resident and producer of Moonlit Poets, reads his poetry at Moonlit Poets’ soft opening event hosted in early September. The poetry group is set to kick off its grand monthly entrance in downtown Juneau at the Crystal Saloon’s back room this Friday night. (Courtesy Photo / Summer Koester)

Michael Christenson, Juneau resident and producer of Moonlit Poets, reads his poetry at Moonlit Poets’ soft opening event hosted in early September. The poetry group is set to kick off its grand monthly entrance in downtown Juneau at the Crystal Saloon’s back room this Friday night. (Courtesy Photo / Summer Koester)

If you’re over the moon about poetry, there’s an event for you.

A new poetry open mic event is kicking off its grand monthly entrance in downtown Juneau at the Crystal Saloon’s back room this Friday night, and organizers are inviting anyone in Juneau to break out their berets and butter up their snapping fingers for the night.

The event-organizing poetry group, Moonlit Poets, will provide a sign-up sheet 15 minutes ahead of the event where residents can enroll for a timeslot on stage to read their best three poems or five minutes of reading — whichever comes first said Michael Christenson, Juneau resident and producer of Moonlit Poets. The group will also accept donations to go toward revolving non-profits.

Though the existing new poetry group had a soft opening back in September, Christenson said this event will be the group’s grand kickoff to begin its monthly reading cycle here in the capital city. He said at the soft opening, around 30 people attended the event and around 10 people were able to share their work in the hour-long period. He said he expects a similar turnout this time around, but hopes to squeeze in more readers during the night.

“It’s a great opportunity for local storytellers to come back together and tell their five-minute stories — where they are poem or prose or a little bit of comedy — once a month,” said Katie Bausler, a local writer and the emcee of Friday’s event.

The name Moonlit Poets was chosen after the first event, which happened to take place on a full moon. Christenson said it inspired the group to choose a celestial-inspired name and work to have its future monthly events land sometime near the full moon.

“‘Waxing Gibbous Poets’ didn’t make it and the ‘Penny Moon Poets’ wasn’t good either — but Moonlit Poets seemed to do it just right,” he said, laughing.

Christenson said hosting the event in the back room of the Crystal Saloon gives an “industrial intimate” feel to the room which he said fits “perfectly” with the atmosphere and energy the group hopes to stir up within the readers during the event. He said the reading back in September already brought the energy he felt had been missing in Juneau for the past few years,

“The first one was very cathartic and I was floating on cloud nine for about two days after that,” he said. “Our tagline is ‘Taking poetry out of the university, and bringing it back to the bars where it belongs.”

Christenson said though this is just the beginning of the poetry group entering into the Juneau scene, he hopes it can continue as a monthly tradition for years to come. He said he was inspired to create the group after Woosh Kinaadeiyí stopped hosting its poetry nights back in 2020 and found that he missed the connection and energy of Juneau poets and wanted to reignite it again in a new way.

“I missed the community, I missed having something new to write every month so it motivates you to write new things and you get to see what everybody else is doing as well — we’re starting to rebuild that,” he said.

Bausler agreed and added: “Sometimes people can be hesitant or think they are not at the same caliber of other poets but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a great opportunity to try your poetry out loud to a supportive group of community members and have some fun at the same time.”

Know & Go

What: Moonlit Poets open mic

Where: Crystal Saloon, 218 Front St.

When: 7-8 p.m Friday, Nov. 4. Sign-up opens at 6:45 p.m.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

Bill Thomas, a former Republican state representative from Haines, announced Friday he is dropping out of the race for the District 3 House seat this fall. (U.S. Sustainability Alliance photo)
Bill Thomas drops out of District 3 House race, says there isn’t time for fishing and campaigning

Haines Republican cites rough start to commercial season; incumbent Andi Story now unopposed.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks at the Alaska Democratic Party’s state convention on May 18 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Peltola among few Democrats to vote for annual defense bill loaded with GOP ‘culture war’ amendments

Alaska congresswoman expresses confidence “poison pills” will be removed from final legislation.

A celebratory sign stands outside Goldbelt Inc.’s new building during the Alaska Native Regional Corporation’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Jan. 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Medical company sues Goldbelt for at least $30M in contract dispute involving COVID-19 vaccine needles

Company says it was stuck with massive stock of useless needles due to improper specs from Goldbelt.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A yearling black bear waits for its mother to return. Most likely she won’t. This time of year juvenile bears are separated, sometimes forcibly, by their mothers as families break up during mating season. (Photo courtesy K. McGuire)
Bearing witness: Young bears get the boot from mom

With mating season for adults underway, juveniles seek out easy food sources in neighborhoods.

A chart shows COVID-19 pathogen levels at the Mendenhall wastewater treatment plant during the past three months. (Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Wastewater Surveillance System)
Juneau seeing another increase in COVID-19 cases, but a scarcity of self-test kits

SEARHC, Juneau Drug have limited kits; other locations expect more by Saturday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to reporters during a news conference Feb. 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy picks second ex-talk radio host for lucrative fish job after first rejected

Rick Green will serve at least through Legislature’s next confirmation votes in the spring of 2025.

A used gondola being installed at Eaglecrest Ski Area may not begin operating until 2027, according to Goldbelt Inc. President and CEO McHugh Pierre, whose company is providing $10 million for installation costs. (Eaglecrest Ski Area photo)
Eaglecrest Ski Area gondola may not open until 2027 due to CBJ delays, Goldbelt CEO says

Agreement with city allows Goldbelt to nix $10M deal if gondola doesn’t open by May 31, 2028.

Most Read