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:


For more specific event dates and information: 
1) Check our Events Calendar (Facebook) or 
2) Add our Calendar (Google)


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.



Richie D. Marrufo

Project Director, The Barbed Wire Open Mic Series

A BorderSenses Event 


The Poet Society ft. Richie D. Marrufo


DJ Midnight at the Laundromat original mix featuring poetry by Richie D. Marrufo

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BWOMS presents: Memeya


An ekphrastic poetry and music show inspired by the art of Xochihuitzilin

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Episode 52: Richie Castro


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."

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Watch: The Lizard King - "Where The Lights Never Seem To Go Out" (BWOMS Fresh Cuts)


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.

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Watch: Emily Llanes - "Poetry" (BWOMS Fresh Cuts)


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“

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Watch: Denise Saenz - "Teonanácatl" (BWOMS Fresh Cuts)


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.

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Watch: Celia Aguilar - "Better Days" (BWOMS Fresh Cuts)


Watch Celia Aguilar perform her poem "Better Days" on BWOMS Fresh Cuts

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Papagayo presents: Unveiling Through Poetry


Wednesday, March 24th 2021, 12-1pm; Hosted by Patty Orozco

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Call for Submissions: CineMic Mixtape


Send us your original poetry inspired by the world of cinema!

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BWOMS Mixtapes Vol. 1: V-Day


A collaborative video poetry project centered on and around the theme of Valentine's Day.

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The Poet Society ft. Richie D. Marrufo


DJ Midnight at the Laundromat original mix featuring poetry by Richie D. Marrufo

read more