April is National Poetry Month and if you are hungry for poetry in L.A. you can get your poetic appetite fulfilled every day of the week.
On Friday, April 1st at the Poetic Research Bureau in LA a reading is scheduled with Lisa Fishman & Richard Meier, doors open at 7:00 PM and it is $5 to attend. One of the best places for poetry, Beyond Baroque in Venice has several events a week and what could be better than poetry by the sea? You can visit them on Saturday, April 2nd to see a reading from the Dirty Girls poetry anthology hosted by Rene Diedrich, followed by DOWN, DIRTY AND NEUROTIC at 7:00 PM, a mix of provocative humor & drama. Events held at Beyond Baroque are $7. Also on the 2nd, a free haiku workshop is offered at the Huntington Beach Central Library at 2:00 PM, in the Balboa Room. At 6:00 PM in the Grand Ballroom of the University Park Campus Visions & Voices: The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative is putting on a free Asian American spoken word event as well, which will appeal to a wide audience and is possibly the most promising production of the evening.
While there aren’t any open readings scheduled for Sunday, April 3rd, The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades is a great choice to inspire the muse. At 1:00 PM they have a very intriguing event happening. Poet as Orpheus with Two Sirens, an examination of ancient art focusing on sculptures from 350-300 BC. To attend I recommend making your appointment early and remember to sign up 15 min. before the event takes place. While you are there, visit the Getty book store and pick up a book of poetry from their very impressive collection.
Monday, April 4th there is a brand new open mike event at Weber’s Place Sports Bar & Grill in Reseda, hosted by Jason Brain, sign up starts at 6:30. This is a weekly event where readers can channel Poe with cocktail in hand and it's free. Tuesday, April 5th you have two events to choose from. The ever-faithful Cobalt Café on Sherman Way, held every Tuesday, is a staple and while it’s not the classiest place on Earth, the quality of talent that gravitates there is among the best I have experienced. This event is hosted by Rick Lupert author of Sinzibuckwud! and the cost to attend Cobalt readings is always minimal. Da Poetry Lounge, held every Tuesday at the Greenway Court Theater is located right next to Fairfax High at 544 N. Fairfax in LA. This is an excellent venue to experience the charms of spoken word. A grand choice, but come early because poets and readers are literally dying to enter the realm. It is $5 to attend this reading.
Wednesday, April 6th at 7:00 PM, The Flypoet Showcase at The Savoy is stellar & your best bet for poetry. Scheduled to perform is Ainsley Burrows, Bluz & Norton Wisdom painting live on stage! This event is held the 1st Wednesday of every month. While open readings can be hit or miss, this event features touring poets and music guaranteeing a cosmic experience. This event is $15 and worth every penny, you can come early and take advantage of $5 martinis unti 8:00 PM. Another choice on the 6th is the Beyond Baroque Poetry Workshop at 8:00 PM, a highly recommended event and it’s free.
On Thursday night, April 7th, Feral Fusion held at the Amsterdam Cafe of North hollywood owns the night with an exciting array of unique and eclectic spice. A weekly event infusing live music with poetry and may be the most exciting thing the valley has to offer the poetry community. This event begins at 8:00 PM. Also, every Thursday night at 7:00 PM, Jason Brain hosts the weekly Soapbox Sessions at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Encino by the carousel. This is a free event offering a twist to traditional open mikes, incorporating comedy, live musical acts and poetry. While the formula could use a rethinking, as poets may find it a rough transition following comedic acts, Jason does a great job. He is an enthusiastic, humble and talented host, very connected to the poetry community.
So, whether you are strapped for cash or have a crunching schedule, poetry is not dead. You can find the pulse of poetry in LA too, if you seek it.
If you plan to perform at any of these events, I recommend arriving 30 minutes before the event begins for sign up. To view the full schedule of events and for more detailed information visit my blog: Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House.
Sherman Oaks Poetry Examiner
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