The Maple Leaf Bar hosts the longest continuously running poetry reading series in North America. It is free and open to the public. The poetry series has been a platform for a great diversity of writers to present their work, from the published and well-established to the novice poet alike. The reading series was founded in 1979 by Franz Heldner, Bob Stock, and the consummate poet laureate of the Maple Leaf Bar, Everette Maddox. The series gained popularity around the same time that James Booker, the flamboyantly wonderful one-eyed piano virtuoso, held court at The Leaf. Everette Maddox, another well-loved outrageous personality of the time, helped popularized the series with his humor, charisma and whit. Maddox ran the series for nearly 10 years, until his death in 1989. Since then, the torch has been carried on by poet Nancy Harris aka "Ape Woman."