Genre: Spoken Word

Ramya Ramana on Forgiveness


Author, lyricist, and former New York City youth poet laureate Ramya Ramana discusses and reads a piece about forgiveness in this video for PBS Newshour’s “Brief But Spectacular” series. “Forgiveness is a doorway. A garden of curses spill from her lips and the city inside me crumbles. I tell myself, all poison has once been poisoned too,” reads Ramana.

CAConrad Reads Jack Spicer’s “For Mac”


“A dead starfish on a beach / He has five branches / Representing the five senses / Representing the jokes we did not tell each other.” CAConrad reads Jack Spicer’s poem “For Mac” in this short film directed by Matthew Thompson and produced by the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with the 92nd Street Y, for their Read By poetry film series.

Blip Roasters

Blip Roasters is a café in a sunny, brick urban building in Kansas City, Missouri, which hosts weekly open mic nights, writing workshops, and bike nights for motorcyclists. Their Poetry Underground series features seasonal showcases and an annual poetry slam, typically requiring a cover fee for entry. There is also a conference room available for booking offering a quiet environment with a conference table, Wi-Fi access, and tinted windows for privacy. 

Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers: Broadway

Shakespeare & Co. is an independent bookstore located in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. The store hosts a plethora of events including book signings, readings, talks, monthly book club meetings, and open mic nights for comics, poets, and musicians. Their flagship shop is located in the Upper East Side on Lexington Avenue.

America Will Be


“I am now at the age where my father calls me brother / when we say goodbye.” In this Voices Underground video, Joshua Bennett reads his poem “America Will Be,” which appears in his collection Owed (Penguin, 2020), for the 2021 Chester County Juneteenth Festival at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. For more from Bennett, read his essay “A Shed Full of Golden Shovels” from our Craft Capsules series.

Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse

Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse is a distinctive independent bookstore located in downtown Kent, Ohio. Their inventory encompasses a diverse range of items: secondhand books, DVDs, CDs, and an extensive collection of vinyl records. Situated at the front of the store is a charming coffee house serving locally roasted coffee and baked goods. The shop frequently hosts open mic nights for writers and musicians, as well as an ongoing poetry reading series.


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