The Open Mouth Reading Series is a community-based poetry series 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.
We're a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit, and all funds we raise go toward additional programming and toward paying readers. 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
Program director, community relations
Director of Development
Donor relations, accounts payable
Grant writing, educational programming, workshop development
Webmaster, public relations, graphic design