Are you a poet looking for a stage? Or are you a fan of poetry slams? Whether you’re an amateur or an avid poetry writer (or reader), there’s plenty of shows, slams, and open mics to attend in NYC. Here are five of our favorites. By Carly Petrone.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Whether you’re looking for a poetry slam or a poetry open mic, Nuyorican Poets Café is the place to go. See how it all goes down at the Friday Night Poetry Slam hosted by Mahogany Browne. Every week, professional and amateur poets hit the stage to battle it out – five randomly-chosen members of the audience act as judges so come prepared. Tickets are $13 for general admission, $25 for VIP admission.
If you’re looking for a place to try out some new material then make your way to QED Astoria. This fun venue hosts an open mic night called Bunk Bed Time every Sunday evening from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Andrea Shapiro and Chris Gersbeck host this free open mic, where performers can try everything from stand up and storytelling to poetry and puppetry. There are 25 4-minute spots available and sign-ups are first come first serve. The mic is a lottery and order is determined randomly.
Otto's Shrunken Head
Carmine Street Metrics starts back up at Otto’s Shrunken Head on September 18th. This poetry reading series happens every first Sunday of the month from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Get on up there and try out some metrical poetry – this casual environment will make you feel right at home (plus a fun tiki drink also helps calm down the nerves). Stick around for Frank Wood’s Wind Down Sundays at 6 p.m., where some of NYC’s best bands perform followed by The “SOFA KING” WILDE JAM.
Bowery Poetry Club
There’s always something fun going on at the Bowery Poetry Club. Every week, this iconic New York venue hosts poetry pop ups, slams, and open mics. Upcoming shows include the Triangle Quarerly Reading Series (August 21st), Secrets at The Bowery – A Poetry Music Collective (August 27th), and Symphonics Live (September 17th). You can also take part in a variety of poetry workshops to help get you started on a unified collection of work. Most classes are 5-8 weeks long. Learn more here.
Cornelia Street Cafe
Stop into The Cornelia Street Café for a cocktail and a live poetry performance. On August 15th the café welcomes back the return of the oldest established, permanent floating poetry game in New York: The Poetry Game. Celebrate new and forthcoming books and work from private students of Estha Weiner. Be a part of the Dance of the Word’s Celebration of Summer on August 27th at 6 p.m. Alan Baxter MC’s this night of poetry, live music, belly dancing, and dance. This warm and inviting space has a very welcoming ambiance to it – you may just feel like hitting the stage yourself! Learn more about upcoming performances here.