By Adelle Brodbeck
Schnitzelburg native, Sunergos Coffee regular and poet Steve Cambron searched for the perfect open-mic night for a long time. Each venue he contacted told him that spaces were reserved for musical or comedic performances, not creative writing. Instead of retreating, Cambron decided he would form his own outlet for poetry reading.
Sunergos willingly teamed up with Cambron to host a monthly reading series at its Preston Street location solely dedicated to poetry, short stories and personal narratives. Since its start in December of last year, Cambron says his Flying Out Loud series has only continued to grow.
The focus of Flying Out Loud has evolved to allow for the emphasis of strengthening community. Cambron tells Insider that while the “comfy, retro vibe” Sunergos offers is a plus for any venue, he chose the spot for its inclusiveness.
“(It) is a neighborhood hub of sorts with very diverse clientele,” Cambron says.
Since the start of Flying Out Loud, Cambron says he has been exposed to another side of Louisville.
“The one thing that has amazed me is the number of really good poets and writers who are right here in our own back yard,” he explains. “I had no idea there was this much talent around. I really think Louisville is reaching new heights as far as the writing scene is concerned.”
Each month the series features different writers from around town. Cambron says most participants are from the Schnitzelburg/Germantown area, but he has had poets from Lexington and Bowling Green as well. In addition to readings from featured writers, attendees are also encouraged to volunteer during the 15-minute open-mic portion of the event, which fluctuates in contribution.
“Some nights we’ve had more people sign up than we have time for. In that case, I put them at the top of the list for next month,” says Cambron. “Other times, no one steps up.”
Attendance at Flying Out Loud also varies, but Cambron is enthusiastic about the future of the series. After support on social media from fellow members of the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council and a half-page feature in The Courier-Journal, Cambron says audience size has increased from about 20 people to 40 or 50.
“We’ve had some readings where it was standing-room only — not normally a term you would use to describe a poetry reading,” adds Cambron.
Flying Out Loud takes place the second Monday of every month from 6-8 p.m. in the Schnitzelburg Sunergos, 2122 S. Preston St. The next two open mics are slated for Aug. 10 and Sept. 14. For more information, visit the series’ Facebook page.