Yakima Coffeehouse Poets   

Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

A meeting place for Yakima regional writers

Open Mic

The Yakima Coffeehouse Poets presents Open Mic Night on the second Thursday (new night) of each month, September through May. We would like to thank The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave, in Yakima, for allowing us the use of its Main Hall. This event is open to the public and people are encouraged to read their original poetry (please keep your reading time to about 4 minutes). Donations are welcome at the door to help us reimburse The Seasons for utility costs.

Open Mic Night
Thursday, February 8, 2018
 ~~ 7:00pm ~~

Hosted by:  Jo Shafer

The Seasons Performance Hall
101 N Naches Ave, Yakima

Yakima Coffeehouse Poets 

Local essayist and poet JO SHAFER has published in poetry anthologies, including Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, since 1999. She has completed two books of poetry, Oyster Shells, about life in a small Florida town during the Depression Era, and Yellow Clay Road. Recently she appeared on the online version of All We Can Hold and the tenth anniversary anthology from LiTFUSE, renowned among writers in the Pacific Northwest.


In 2015, she was awarded the Tom Pier Prize by Coffeehouse Poets. Her further work includes two Bible commentaries and a literary biography of Paul the Apostle. A retired feature writer for the Yakima Herald-Republic and copy editor for The Central Washington Catholic, Shafer currently blogs on Invitation to the Garden, found on WordPress.com.


Yakima Coffeehouse Poets




Like warm honey on a fall day
pine straw carpeting the forest floor
smells sweet against my cheek
as I lie down for a little while,
not intending to sleep
in this patchwork of splattered sunlight.
No one need know I am out here alone
save for a squirrel with electric shivers
scrambling up one of the pines
so tall they seem to incline their tops
to peer down at me, as though to say,

Where have you been all this time?
We've missed you.

   ~ Jo Shafer                  

Like the Poetry contest, Open Mic Night got its start at Allied Arts. The event was initiated in 2005 by local poet Elaine Smith and was encouraged by the former Allied Arts director Elizabeth Herres Miller and her successor Jessica Moskwa.  They felt a monthly forum where local poets could read original work would complement the annual contest. They were right. Poets Cindy Lamb, Ed Stover, Randie Gottlieb, Linda Brown and Chuck Forster have kept Open Mic alive.

Open Mic Night was popular at the outset and remains so as a program now run by the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets.  Come read a poem and meet your fellow Yakima poets.



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2017 Contest chapbook   

Library of Publications - Twenty-third chapbook for Yakima Coffeehouse Poets
Link to our: 
Library of Publications


2017 Poetry Contest...

1st Prize - Joyce Hernandez

2nd Prize - Joe Powell

3rd Prize - Penny K. Johnson

Tom Pier Prize - Terry Martin

- Honorable Mention -
Mark Burns
Claire Carpenter
Susan Johnson
Victoria Patschke
Donna Raforth
Jo Shafer
Kathleen Stancik (2)
Joanna Thomas (2)


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Featured Poets...


Joyce Hernandez

Joe Powell

Penny K. Johnson

Terry Martin

Victoria Patschke