Speak Social is a reading series and open mic designed to eschew the, well, boring aspects of many literary events. We think poetry and prose should stimulate the mind, surprise the audience, and, above all, entertain. We’re here to be social, after all. Why not act like it?

The reading series is hosted by John James and Sarah Maddix.

John James teaches at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewHayden’s Ferry ReviewBest New Poets 2013, and elsewhere, and online in DIAGRAMSixth Finch, and Phantom LimbHe holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University, where he received an Academy of American Poets Prize.

Sarah Maddix studied Philosophy and Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville where she served as President of Students United for Peace & Justice and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She also worked as a Change Leader for Oxfam America, which has allowed her to continue to work closely with a number of national and local nonprofit organizations such as United Students for Fair Trade and Community Farm Alliance. She works at Whole Foods Market.