If you’re looking for a cool night out but don’t want to party, there’s nothing better than a poetry or story slam! It’s entertaining, intellectual, and fun! Here are some of then best venues in NYC for spoken word.

  1. Cornelia Street Cafe

This is the best place to get a cocktail and listen to some awesome stories. The cafe opened in 1977 in Greenwich village. Many notable poets have performed here including Eve Ensler (creator of the Vagina Monologues), William Kunstler, and Dr. Oliver Sacks. They have over 700 shows a year. Something interesting is always happening at this cafe!

2. Nuyorican Poets Cafe

This cafe is great place for poetry slams! They have a slam every Friday night. This little venue has been open in the lower east side of Manhattan since 1973. They have plenty of open mics as well as music, dance, and theatre shows. I’ve been to one of their poetry slams and it was amazing! The crowd was so into it and the poets who were competing were top notch. Definitely a place to check out if you like the arts!

3. QED Astoria

This venue holds many open mic nights a month if you’re looking to try out some material. They have great drinks and snacks. They have story telling nights, improv, theatre, readings, poetry etc. They describe their place as ‘after school for grown-ups, they also have classes if you’re looking to improve your skills!

4. Bowery Poetry Club

This club hosts poetry pop-ups, open mic nights, workshops, and slams. They also have classes so people can work on collectivizing their poetry and they are usually 5-8 weeks long. This place is a non-profit whose mission is to “encourage cooperation among and advancement of artists and cultural workers; to develop and produce works by emerging poets and performers; and to promote the exploration, improvement, and advancement of the arts as a changemaking force in society.”

Hopefully you can enjoy the creativity and maybe try some of your own works out!

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