Perhaps when you think of a live poetry reading, you envision a smoke-filled room in the back of a small, underground café or bar. While you can still find this classic New York vibe around town, modern-day poetry readings are performed in a variety of ways across NYC. We profile ten places to enjoy live poetry readings in New York City.
The performances at Bowery Poetry Club are never the same. Take in the cozy, intimate atmosphere as you listen to a variety of readings, from open mic nights to slam competitions and music nights. They also offer workshops for aspiring poets and writers who wish to expand the limitations of their craft. The Bowery Poetry Club even offers a ‘summer camp’ for adults run by Amy Lawless (My Dead), and it’s called Camp Lawless – Summer Poetry & Writing on the Bowery.
Despite its somewhat promiscuous name, The Poetry Brothel is not a brothel, but was created to surpass the typical poetry scene, opting for a more vintage-inspired theme. The regular poets here, also known as ‘the poetry whores’, invent alter egos and create a new reality for the audience. You can pay to see a general reading by featured poets, or you can pay for an individual session with a ‘poetry whore’, which will get you ten minutes of poetry and discussion. Audience members 21 and older can enjoy readings at various locations, each with a different theme for the night.