The Open Mouth Literary Center is a community-based literary organization located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, founded by poets M. D. Myers and Molly Bess Rector in October of 2015.

Each month, we host a monthly reading and generative writing workshop featuring one poet (sometimes more!) whose work we love. The featured reading is preceded by readings from up to ten members of our community, who read a single poem each in rapid succession. We also host an annual fall festival and a summer poetry retreat featuring visiting faculty, as well as a residency for local poets, and extended classes (coming soon).

We're a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit with only one employee, and all funds we raise go toward programming costs, including access services such as ASL interpretation, as well as honoraria for poets. We are making big plans to expand on our vision of joyful service to our community.

Open Mouth has partnered with organizations like the Arkansas Arts Council, Experience Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Public Library, and various departments and programs at the University of Arkansas to bring engaging and creative events, programming, experiences, exchanges, content, and dialogues to Northwest Arkansas.

Increasing Access to Poetry in Our Community and Beyond: In 2020, we began working with an accessibility consultant to learn about inclusive design and common accessibility gaps in the literary community. We are working to ensure access to our readings and workshops providing access copies, captioning, and ASL interpretation services, seeking physical locations designed with accessibility in mind, by making our programs available online. We would love feedback from our community and invite you to fill out this form to help us meet your needs. A copy of our access statement is available at this link.

Meet Our Team

Molly Bess Rector - photo by Kat Wilson.
Molly Bess Rector

Executive Director

Program director, community relations

Peter Mason
Peter Mason

Director of Development

Donor relations, accounts payable

Gwendolyn Ann Hill - photo by Rome Morga
Gwendolyn Ann Hill Mauroner

Education Director

Grant writing, educational programming, workshop development

Hiba Tahir
Hiba Tahir

Social Media Director

Social media, photography 

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
Website Graphic-01.jpg
Nani Verzon

Communications Director

Webmaster, public relations, graphic design

Geffrey Davis - photo by Andrew Kilgore
Geffrey Davis

Outreach Director

Rome Hernández Morgan - photo credit Pat
Rome Hernández Morgan

Communications Intern

Newsletters, accessibility support, programming