Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery
New York, NY 10012


Number represents reach distance in miles from city

New York City 45 Newark 40

Standing in front of the lone microphone on a darkened stage, a bespectacled woman takes a deep breath before facing her audience and unleashing a torrent. The syllables spill from her pursed lips at almost indecipherable speed and the audience leans forward in the dark to catch up. The ear struggles to make sense of words stripped of their contextual meaning before conscious thought ceases and the rhythm takes over.

It’s Tuesday night at the Bowery Poetry Club (BPC) and the weekly poetry slam has just gotten underway. The performers anxiously wait for their moment in the spotlight; five short minutes in which to reach a discerning audience using only vocabulary and an unshakable rhythmic feel. Ranging from rhythmic soliloquy to jarring rant, the night’s performances burst with immediacy and passion, at times drawing cheers from the crowd and at others, falling nervously short of their target. These poets, 3rd generation beatniks, are progenitors of an artistic tradition that has become marginalized in this society of specialization, market niches and genre boundaries. The worlds of poetry, jazz, hiphop, comedy and cabaret converge nightly at the Bowery Poetry Club, creating the type of artistic environment that fosters the best minds of a generation.

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