Gems shine between the twigs at Café Twigs open mic night


By Julie Hamel

Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, Café Twigs hosts a little jewel of an event in the heart of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Poets and musicians walk through the doors of the café knowing they will be part of something unique; a gathering of creators of all ages and venues.

Erika White founded the Twigs and Leaves event as a way to bring poetry to residents outside the city centre. Then, she created Broken Rules press – a small printing press using recycled paper no less – as a way for local poets to get published.Rhonda Massad, Julie Hamel, West Island News, West Island Blog, Open Mic at Twigs

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The event continues to attract poetry lovers, on and off island, spurring chapbook after chapbook with live recordings of the readings produced by Gary Townsend, a local songwriter and musician. Gary has been with Twigs and Leaves right from the start, never missing a beat. He is the man who takes the pulse of those sharing some of their most intimate inspirations and observations

The atmosphere is friendly and laid back, and folks know that yes, they will be getting a taste of Mel’s and Bridget’s succulent goodies, but also a glimpse of the clever, the funny or the thought-provoking, with or without rhyme. The evening is divided in three sets and patrons get to vote for their favourite performer. The winner is given a gift certificate for the Café as well as a selection of books that are donated to the event for the purpose of sharing. January’s winner was Peter Köhl with 2 poems, one in English and one in German.

Over the years, Twigs and Leaves has served as a stepping stone for up and coming writers such as Louise Carson, author of the Maples Mysteries, the novel Executor and  poetry collections.

Twigs and Leaves is a monthly Open Mic event that has become a tradition since January 2008. It is free and open to all. The next one will be held on February 19, 2019. Doors open at 7 p.m.