People often ask, what makes poetry different from all other arts? It’s hard to pinpoint to me poetry is freedom, the freedom to be the who, what, when, where or just narrator of any genre of poetry your mind can dream of. The right poet at the right open mic…means presenting at a place where your art can have its very own coming out party. There no applications, no boards that must give their approval; it’s just you, your feelings and ears thirsty for the beautiful words that you’ve cooked & seasoned just for them. With all that said, here are some favorite places to have your ears made love to or where if I chose I can me the love maker.

Just Poetry Slam

Last Monday of Every Month 7pm @ Firehouse Theatre
1609 west broad street
Richmond VA
Cost: Free

“an entertaining mix of rap concert, ‘Gong Show’ and tent revival.” The Just Poetry Slam has become so successful that each event is standing-room-only and there’s a $100.00 prize each month to the poet our judges deem the best that month has to offer.”

Warm Wednesday

Every Wednesday 7:30pm @ 5 Seasons
830 Guilford Ave, Baltimore MD
Cost: $5.00 (Before 10pm)

“The longest running open mic Spoken Word venue in the nation! Warm Wednesdays has showcased both seasoned professionals and open-mic “virgins” by providing a nurturing atmosphere for some of Baltimore’s best. The venue began with only 6 audience members and has grown to become the largest and longest running weekly open-mic venue in Baltimore”

Busboys and Poets

Busboys and Poets (

Bus Boys & Poets

Every Sunday & Tuesday 7:00pm @ BB&P
2021 14th St. NW, Washington DC
Cost: $5.00

“Busboys and Poets is proud to be a venue that provides space and support for poets and spoken word performers to showcase their work. From the cozy atmosphere of the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series to the high intensity of the Tuesday night open mic, Busboys and Poets is sure that you will find a poetry event that will leave you inspired and wanting to come back for more”

Spit Dat

Every Thursday 8:30pm @ ECAC (Emergence Community Arts Collective)
Cost: $1

“The city’s eight-year-old weekly open-mike poetry event is perfect whether you’re new to spoken word, merely curious, or thinking of taking the baptismal plunge as a performer, Spit Dat is the best place “to get your feet wet.”

Mic Check

5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Cost: Free
Every Friday 8pm @ Modern Times (sign-up is 7:30)

“Listen and relax to the best national and locally grown artists in the DMV. Even better enjoying a cup of their specialty coffee while listening to the talent hat blesses the mic any given Friday night. A big bonus here is that the last Wednesday of every month, D.C. SLAM holds their poetry slam competition. It’s free to sign up…just be in the spot around 7pm”