Best Poetry Events In Washington DC

April 1, 2013 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Busboys And Poets Via Facebook

Poetry is the act of making art with words; words that inspire, provoke, enlighten and simply bring joy. Some of the most popular poets, as well as those lesser known, participate in major poetry events right here in the nation’s capitol. From poetry performance spotlights, to open mic nights, to readings by established poets, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Check out some of these upcoming events.

Nine On The Ninth: Monthly Poetry Series
Busboys and Poets — Langston Room
2021 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-7638

Date: April 9

There’s nothing like bringing poetry to life with a live performance magnified by the intensity of the stage, the spotlight and a live audience. That’s exactly what you get with this monthly poetry series where featured poets take the stage to captivate the audience with their prowess of the spoken word. Directly following each artist is a nine-question artist interview and audience Q&A known as the “BluePrint Session.” To close out the event, audience members enjoy an open mic.

Hill Center Series: Elizabeth Alexander Reading
Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 549-4172

Date: April 10

Fans of Elizabeth Alexander can enjoy a reading by the poet, along with a discussion of her work, with Ron Charles, fiction editor of The Washington Post. The event will celebrate the launch of a new reading series at the Hill Center. Some of Alexander’s recent works include: “Praise Song For The Day: A Poem For Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration” (Harper Collins Children’s), “Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010” (Graywolf Press) and “Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color” (Front Street Press).

Related: Best Books About DC

Public Reading by Natasha Trethewey
Library of Congress — James Madison Building, Montpelier Room
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540
(202) 707-5394

Date: April 2

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and 19th Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress, Natasha Trethewey will read from her published works and announce her choice of two poets that will receive the Library’s 2013 Witter Bynner Fellowship. Trethewey is herself a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her book “Native Guard” (Houghton Mifflin) and the Washington Post once hailed her as “…a true poet.” Book sales and a signing will follow the event.

Related: Best Literary Landmarks In DC

Kevin Don Porter is the author of MISSING — a mystery novel available May 7, 2013. Visit his website at

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