Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cleveland: a great town for poetry readings

Somebody had asked earlier where to go to find open mike poetry* in Cleveland.
*(or "open mic")

Cleveland is a great town for poetry readings. Almost any day of the week you can find a reading somewhere-- check out the clevelandpoetics calendar. Most of them have a featured poet, and usually have an open microphone after the featured reading for you to show off your stuff in front of an audience. If you're a member of that faction who believes that poetry is made to be read out loud, Cleveland's your town.

All of the Cleveland readings have their own character-- depending on whether you like a quiet reading in a coffeehouse, or a rollicking reading hosted by a M.C., somewhere in town we've got it for you.

A good starting point to look at to find out where the the readings around town are is the Cleveland Literary Center (aka, "the Lit")'s Calendar of Literary Events [note added: dead now, I'm afraid, but we now have the calendar right here on clevelandpoetics]. Also, if you're a member of the clevelandpoetics yahoo group, check the clevelandpoetics calendar as well.

Here is a list of the regularly scheduled readings, taken from the calendars I listed above. That isn't necessarily all of the readings in the area! I can't claim I've been to all of these (mostly a homebody, me). So if I've made an error, or listed an event that's no longer running or has changed date or place, let me know.

And I'm not even mentioning the various poetry workshops in the area. That's a whole 'nother post!

But if you want live poetry, to listen to, or to join in, here are your chances:
  • Saturday, 2pm: poetry reading at Mr. Smith's Coffee House, 140 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, sponsored by the Firelands BGSU writing center. (Used to be the first Saturday, but they seem to have moved the schedule around).
  • 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm: Nia Coffeehouse at the Coventry Village library @ corner of Euclid Hts. Blvd., moderated by Vince Robinson.
  • 1st Thursday, 7pm: Jim's Coffeehouse Elyria. If you'd like to perform, show up by 6:30 to register. 2 Lake Avenue, Elyria.
  • 1st Friday, 7 pm-10 pm: Poetic Flavor at the 2nd April Gallery, 209 6th St. Canton, OH
  • 2nd Wednesday, 7pm: Mac's Backs poetry, at Mac's Backs on Coventry. 1820 Coventry, Cleveland Heights.
  • 2nd Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Brunswick Art Works sponsors poetry reading plus open mike at Dunkin' Donuts, 3868 Center Road in Brunswick
  • --the 2nd Thursday Literary Café Poetry Nights in Tremont are a thing of the past, sorry!
  • 2nd Friday, 8:30 pm: Deep Cleveland poetry hour at Border's Books and Music, 17200 Royalton Rd. in Strongsville (on hiatus).
  • 2nd Saturday, 3 pm: poetry at the Brandt Gallery, 1028 Kenilworth Ave. in Tremont.
  • 3rd Wednesday, 7 pm: Lix&Kix Poetry Extravaganza, at Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Cafe at 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. (Used to be Tuesday, note the new day)

And at irregular Saturdays, you also get
  • Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven. This is in varying places: at the Angel Falls Coffee Company in Akron on odd months, various locations in/near Cleveland in even months), hosted by Vertigo X. Xavier.
There are also club events that happen every week, incorporating poetry and spoken-word performance with music, hip-hop, and other performance arts:

  • Every Tuesday, 9 pm - 1 am: Lyrical Rhythm Open Mic Poetry and Soul, hosted by Q-Nice, music by DJ Tom Noy, at the B-Side Liquor Lounge, 2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd, Cleveland Hts. Admission $4.00.
  • Every Wednesday, 8 pm - 1 am: NEO Soul, 2573 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights, $5 cover. "The latest in NEO soul and oldschool hip hop spun by DK A and DJ Goldie, with open mic hosted by Athena starting at 9pm".
  • (no longer ongoing) 8 pm - midnight: Mahogany Red, The Red Hot Experience, in The Living Room Coffee Lounge. "The night is open to all artists from poets to musicians to singers to dancers to emcees, with concierges G Styl and F.R.E.E. along with Audio Engineer Q-Nice." Admission $5:00.

So, that's what's happening around town. They're all different, so if you're a regular at one of these events, drop a note here and tell us what it's like!


John B. Burroughs said...

Thanks for this excellent resource, Geoff (and for mentioning our Lix and Kix). I waited to respond until I knew for sure - but I am happy to now announce that Lix and Kix is moving to the Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Cafe at 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. We've thoroughly enjoyed our past few months at Visible Voice, but we decided to move west for a few reasons - primarily (1) I live in Lorain County and (2) there don't seem to be as many opportunities for open mic poetry in the western suburbs as there are on the east side and in the heart of Cleveland. We held our successful St. Patrick's Day show at Bela Dubby and are excited about returning.

We're celebrating our move with four featured poets and an open mic on 20 July 2009. Two of our excellent features are from northeast Ohio: Philip Metres and Terry Provost. The other two are coming all the way from New York to read: Will Northerner and Kent Brown, neither of whom has read in Cleveland before. Should be a very special evening!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Thanks, JC! I updated the listing.

Anybody else have comments, corrections, changes, suggestions?

John B. Burroughs said...

Thank you, Geoff!

I need to correct myself! The date in my previous comment should be 21 July 2009 (not 20 July).

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

By the way, the "Saturday Night with the Poets Haven" reading series got a little shortchanged here, since it varies from date to date (but always on Saturday) and from place to place, because Vertigo X. is afraid it would grow stale if it stays in one place or one time. Let me make up for that a little by mentioning the next one:
"Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven," Saturday, July 25 at 7:00pm, Phoenix Coffee Co. - W. 9th St. Cleveland.
Featured poets will be Kisha Nicole Foster and Timothy House

Vertigo Xavier said...

Thanks, Geoff!!!

I'm hoping to have a "home" location in Akron every "odd" month next year, then continue traveling around the Cleveland/NEO area in the "even" months. I love the wide mix of poets that we've been able to draw to the Akron location, and it'll be much easier to make a quick trip after work to drop off fliers, being close to my home.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

And one other thing to note-- in the list above, I'd mentioned the 2nd Wednesday poetry reading, 7pm at Mac's Backs on Coventry.

I want to tell everybody that tomorrow (July 8), the second Wednesday reading will be particularly good... at least, it will be from my POV, because I'll be the featured reader! (well, along with Joshua Gage). It'll be the "official" launch party for my new book, Iron Angels.

Be there?

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

The Brunswick Artworks 2nd Thursday poetry reading has been moved to Beuhler's, 3688 Center Rd., Brunswick, since Insights Coffeehouse closed unexpectedly. (D@mn this economy!)

7-8:30 pm; poetry reading plus open mike.

Tell all your friends!

... said...

Is there any way you can remove The B Word Poet listings? I don't do those anymore.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

OK, I deleted it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...
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ReGina Crawford said...

Is anyone still updating this blog? If so, can the entry for Mahogany Red on Thursday be removed? I shut down my open mic in 2008. Thanks! G Styl

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

It hasn't been on the clevelandpoetics calendar for years-- are people still reading this blog entry, and not noticing that it was posted almost eight years ago?
OK, everybody reading this: there's been a lot of changes; new reading series added (like Monday at Mahall's), old readings on hiatus, and some ongoing reading series with dates and places changed. Best way to keep up is to look at the up-to-date calendar listing, not to read this old post from seven years ago!


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau