The Barbed Wire Open Mic Series (aka BWOMS) is El Paso's longest-running and only award-winning open mic in the region. Established in 2007 as part of UTEP's MFA Creating Writing program, and currently part of BorderSenses, the series has provided a stage and platform for thousands of writers and performers.
Currently under the direction of Richie D. Marrufo, the open mic has found success in various venues throughout the city, including virtual events. Our current venues, events, and projects are as follows:
- Mona Bar of Modern Art, 410 1/2 San Antonio Ave. - Every other Tuesday, 21+, 9pm - 12am, Sign-up starts at 8:30pm
- Craft Rhythm & Brews, 1301 Texas Ave. - One Friday per month, All Ages, 8:30pm - 11:30pm, Sign-up starts at 7:30pm
- Old Sheepdog Brewery, 3900 Rosa Ave. - Last Thursday of every month, All Ages, 8:30pm - 11:30pm, Sign-up starts at 7:30pm
- "Stay at Home Open Mic", Online Show, every Monday, All ages, 8:00pm - 11:30pm Mountain Time (US), More Info: https://www.bwoms.com/onlineopenmics/
Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel! We are currently working on a variety of projects including:
- The Stay at Home Open Mic - Online, Streamed Live on Youtube. Visit for an Archive of past shows. Join us in Live Chat during a Live show.
- Fresh Cuts - Our version of NPR "Tiny Desk," highlighting poets, songwriters, and storytellers from EPTX and beyond
- Open Mic Highlights - featured performances, clips, and highlights from our live events
- The BWOMS Podcast - Interviews with Creatives. Catch us by searching The BWOMS Podcast on apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, stitcher, or wherever you prefer listening to your favorite podcasts.
- Misc. Community Events - Support for Book releases, readings, and more in support of Literary events in the region.
Thank you for your interest. Please enjoy our content and be part of our community of creatives.
Project Director, The Barbed Wire Open Mic Series
A BorderSenses Event
DJ Midnight at the Laundromat original mix featuring poetry by Richie D. Marrufo
An ekphrastic poetry and music show inspired by the art of Xochihuitzilin
Richie Castro is a performing creative, traveling the world with music and storytelling. Castro shares, "I have lived, studied and performed in Asia, Europe, Mexico and throughout the United States for more than two decades, and have had the pleasure of trading smiles with people from all over the world from behind my guitar."
Liz is a desert lizard who loves glitter and laying in the sun. Her biggest literary influences are contemporary poet Stephen Dunn, short story writer Raymond Carver, spoken word poet Michael Lee and poetess Maya Angelou. She has two meowing angels named Mr. Floofer and Toulouse. Some days she plays piano and goes until the cats start playing too. In her dream world, everything is covered in glitter.
Emily is a huge activist on mental illness awareness and uses poetry to express the loss and gains of life. Poetry has guided her into mending old wounds and wishes to help others through her words. Sit back! Relax. Feel free to get naked with your emotions here! “ It’s okay to not be okay“
Denise is a chicana poet who uses poetry to heal. Not only herself but her community. Breaking and healing from generational trauma. We carry the wounds of our ancestors as well as their knowledge, poetry is the perfect vehicle to shine light on both.
Watch Celia Aguilar perform her poem "Better Days" on BWOMS Fresh Cuts
Wednesday, March 24th 2021, 12-1pm; Hosted by Patty Orozco
Send us your original poetry inspired by the world of cinema!
A collaborative video poetry project centered on and around the theme of Valentine's Day.