I've been hooked on listening to people share their poetry ever since the first time I saw a slam poet take to a Texas stage. His name was Peter Nevland, he worked with words and twisted them on the human tongue in a way I had never experienced them.

That was almost twenty years ago, and once I returned to South Dakota I watched people perform on HBO's Def Poetry Slam, or had to drive to Minneapolis to find more.

Not so long ago if you wanted poetry readings, slams, and open mics it usually meant a road trip. Thankfully with a growing community of poets, and people putting in the work of putting events together we can now check them out locally.

From 8:00 PM until 11:00 PM, Saturday (March 24) The Blot Collective presents: Beer and Poetry Open Mic at Monks House of Ale Repute.

You are invited to show up and read your original works, read from your favorite published poems, or just come to drink in other peoples performances.

Sion Lidster will also be releasing Blotter Poems his latest poetry book, Sion is an incredible writer, with a heart for helping other writers get their works published.

Sion also helps put together events like this one to give them a stage to present from.

I asked Sion a few questions about his style, and new book.

Who are your influences?

Sion: My main influences come from bohemian sources of all kinds... the beats, the pranksters, the situationists, dadaism, surrealism... anyone person or group who seek an experience based on their own instincts and wants, rather than that delivered... today I am especially influenced by Kenneth Patchen, Diane DiPrima, D. A. Levy... modern day there's PW Covington and a terrific Welsh poet, Natalie Ann Hollborrow.

How would you describe the poems in your new book Blotter Poems?

Sion: Surreal libertine psych travel poems.

What advice do you have for someone who believes they have a book inside them?

Sion: I guess something that's on my mind right now is whether a poet distances themselves from situations in order to write about them... and to what end... so an aspiring writer might want to think about how they want to look at their world, are they immersed or observant? Both are crucial, but recognizing and analyzing your viewpoint might develop your style... after that, it's all cathartic...

If you can't make it to Monk's to pick up Sion's latest book Blotter Poems it is already available in Amazon.

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