Bowery Poetry Club

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Bowery Poetry Club
The front facade of the Bowery Poetry Club
Location Manhattan, New York
Owner Bob Holman
Type Performance Arts venue
Genre(s) Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry, Hip-Hop, Experimental Theatre, Performance Art, Alternative Stand Up, Burlesque, Live Music
Opened 2002

The Bowery Poetry Club was a New York City poetry performance space founded by Bob Holman in 2002 [1] Located at 308 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston Streets in Manhattan's East Village, the BPC was a popular meeting place for artists and aspiring artists.

Building history[edit]

The building was built in the 1850s as 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 in a pot-belly stove.

In a 2002 New York Times article about the club, Holman talked about the then-risky choice to open the club on Bowery, which at the time was a "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.[2]

The Bowery Poetry Club closed for renovations on July 17, 2012[3] and re-opened in March 2013 as a joint performance venue with Duane Park, which relocated from TriBeCa. In the process, BPC dropped "Club" from its name, becoming "Bowery Poetry". The venue was to present Duane Park's burlesque performance through Saturday, with poetry presented on Saturday afternoons and on Sunday and Monday.[4][5]

As of 2014, the poetry program at Bowery Poetry is presented by Bowery Arts + Science, an organization also founded by Bob Holman, the founder of Bowery Poetry Project.[6]



  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Richardson, Lynda (2002-11-12). "A Poet (and Proprietor) Is a Beacon in the Bowery". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  3. ^ Solomon, Serena. "Bowery Poetry Club to Close as Questions Linger About Conversion Plan" DNAinfo (July 17, 2012)
  4. ^ Sherer, Jenna. "Meet the new Duane Park and Bowery Poetry" Time Out New York (March 12, 2013)
  5. ^ Solomon, Serena. "Revamped Bowery Poetry to Open in March With New Name, New Look" DNAinfo (January 30,20130
  6. ^ Bowey Arts + Science website Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]