From a former OC poet/tastemaker:
Hosts Ben Trigg and Steve Ramirez have created something powerful and important there in Southern California. Readings that last that long are rare, and readings that last that long and have hosted such a wide range of new and established poetic work are even more rare. Even after all of these years, "Two Idiots" remains my favorite reading in the country, not least because Steve and Ben are two of my favorite people. They care deeply about poetry, and about community, and realize the two aren't mutually exclusive. This reading has been the heart of Southern California poetry for years, and here's wishing them many more years of doing great work.
From a poster on Yelp:
I appreciate that the Ugly Mug supports creativity. Many of the poets I've heard there are very talented, as well. Unfortunately, during multiple visits, I have felt like an unwanted guest in somebody's home. Sometimes it feels a bit like an "in" clique and if you're not in, you're out.
As for me, I'm "out" for the rest of my life (won't go into it again here)--but, because I know a few of the poets who have performed there, will buy the DON'T BLAME THE UGLY MUG anthology (with a cover designed by OC poet/artist Leigh White) nonetheless.