Bowery Poetry Club
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (November 2011)|
The front facade of the Bowery Poetry Club
|Location||Manhattan, New York|
|Type||Performance Arts venue|
|Genre(s)||Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry, Hip-Hop, Experimental Theatre, Performance Art, Alternative Stand Up, Burlesque, Live Music|
The Bowery Poetry Club is a New York City poetry performance space founded by Bob Holman in 2002  Located at 308 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston Streets in Manhattan's East Village, the BPC provides a home base for established and upcoming artists. "Events at Bowery Poetry Club feel less like staid literary readings than big, friendly parties replete with alcohol, conversation and some of the last edginess on the Bowery not yet channeled into hotels." - The Villager Bowery Poets: Bob Holman, Moonshine, Shappy, Beau Sia and Gary Glazner performed in March 2008, at SXSW in Austin. Time Out New York says, "The name of this colorful joint on the Bowery reveals its poetry-slam roots, but it’s also the truest current iteration of the East Village’s legendary arts scene." Go City Kids says, "Billed as a playground for language, the Bowery Poetry Club extends a welcoming hand to youngsters who love words with the Bowery Kids series of kid-friendly shows and readings." Bowery Kids shows every Sunday at noon. New York Times article on the American Sign Language poetry series hosted by Jason Norman held at the Bowery Poetry Club.
The original purpose of the building, built in the 1850s, was for a lumber yard. Its last incarnation before becoming the BPC was as a formica tabletop manufacturer that ran on DC current. Plywood scraps were used to heat the building via a pot-belly stove.
In the 2002 New York Times article written about the club, Bob Holman talked about the then-risky choice to open the club on Bowery, otherwise known as "storied skid row":
|“||The Bowery is a vein of change. Being blind is not the way to retain the aspects of the past that need to be honored. In order to change the world, you have to be in the world. As you get older, the risk of selling out and becoming part of that system stays real but it's mitigated by wanting to get in there and dig... I can't tell if we are making it in the big sense, but we're making an impression.||”|
The Bowery Poetry Club closed for renovations on July 17, 2012. https://www.facebook.com/events/256288151150291/. Final performers included: Farbeon, Eliel Lucero, Leticia Viloria, A Brief View of the Hudson, Mr Symphonics Shawn Randall, Duv, Grace Kalambay, Sean T. Hanratty and the Mighty Mighty, Rev. Jen Miller, Faceboy, Robert Prichard, Jessica Delfino, The O'Debra Twins, Freestyle Pyramid w/ Rabbi Darkside, Hired Gun, The Rhinos, Sams a total boss, and 4th Friday Fam! Shappy Seasholtz and The Return of the Giggle Fits.
It is slated to re-open Fall of 2012.
- 2,500 square feet (230 m2) of space
- 12 by 20 feet (3.7 by 6.1 metres) stage and green room
- Run by an all-artist staff
- Cafe in the front with full bar and community drop-space available for artist information distribution
Regular shows include:
- Bingo Gazingo, King of the Street Poets (Mondays)
- The Taylor Mead Show (Mondays)
- Monday Night Bingo hosted by Murray Hill (Mondays)
- NYC-Urbana Slam, Three-time National Poetry Slam Championship venue (Tuesdays)
- Theater of Fools (monthly on Wednesdays)
- Skits and Tits (monthly on Wednesdays)
- Bad-Ass Burlesque (monthly on Saturdays)
- Praise Days: Bob Kaufman, June Jordan, Gregory Corso, Audre Lorde, Ted Joans, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Murray
- Emily Dickinson Marathon
- Karaoke + Poetry = Fun
- Bilingual Readings: The World of Poetry
- Eric Bogosian, Karen Finley, Danny Hoch, Sekou Sundiata, Sapphire
- Poets’ Soapbox (speak your mind in poetry)
- Bowery Kids! Up close and interactive entertainment for kids.
- Amina & Amiri Baraka and Blue Ark
- James Blood Ulmer
- Anne Waldman & Jim Carroll
- Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement
- Shaba Sher, Persian poetry & music
- Beatboxers Summit
- Janet Hamill and Moving Star
- The Peoples Poetry Gathering
- Ed Sanders, John Giorno, Carl Hancock Rux, Toni Blackman, Tuli Kupferberg
- Rick Shapiro, the Lenny Bruce of Poetry
- Yusef Komunyakaa, Breyten Breytenbach, Jackson Mac Low
- The Segue Series
- Page Meets Stage
- An annual reading in celebration of "The November 3rd Club" online literary journal of political writing, hosted by Victor D. Infante
- BPC's first show was on February 3, 2002: a Praise Day for Gregory Corso. There were no bathrooms, no chairs, no stage lights, and most importantly, no bar.
- Celebrities who have passed through the BPC's doors include: Matt Dillon, Fiona Apple, Saul Williams, Sarah Jones, Chuck Close, John Ashbery, Claire Danes, Patricia Clarkson, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco, Michael McClure, Ted Joans, Robert Plant, Moby, Carl Hancock Rux, Susan Sarandon
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Season 7, episode 7 was partially filmed at the BPC.
- Bowery Poetry Club website
- Bowery Arts and Science website
- Poems Recorded Live at the Bowery Poetry Club (podcast series)
- Archives of Segue Series
- Litkicks article on Brooklyn Poetry Day at the Bowery Poetry Club
- All About Jazz on a Jazz event at the Bowery Poetry Club
- David Amram on playing jazz with poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club and in the 1950s with Jack Kerouac
- Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe. (2008). Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. Chapter 26: What the Heck is Going on Here; The Bowery Poetry Club Opens (Kinda) for Business. Soft Skull Press, 288. ISBN 1-933368-82-9.
- Carr, C. (2002-09-24). "Po Show". Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Baron, Zach (2008-08-13). "Quarter-Life Crisis". Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Richardson, Lynda (2002-11-12). "A Poet (and Proprietor) Is a Beacon in the Bowery". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Aptowicz, page 278.