As the city grows colder and the days seem shorter, staying in appears be a more enticing option than braving the harsh outdoors. When the cavernous walls of your apartment and the Netflix reruns become monotonous, a night of spoken word, live music and good food, all while staying warm, makes for a worthy venture. Here are some of the best places in the city if you’re looking for a night of slam poetry to an evening of live music.
For those looking to indulge in a real literary night:
Beginning in December, the NYU bookstore will start hosting poetry readings featuring highly esteemed authors who also teach their practice at NYU. An open mic night will be open to all NYU students. You can even sign up to perform poetry, prose, music or comedy.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. Third St.
Widely known as the place where innovative poetry, music, comedy and theatre come out from hiding, Nuyorican Poets Cafe is also the location of where the first poetry slam in New York City was held. This cafe holds monthly events such as Wednesday Night Slam & Open Mic, Nuyo Friday Night Poetry Slam and the Open Room held every Friday night, and latin jazz nights. The cover is usually $10 with your student ID, but make sure to get there at least 45 minutes early because space is limited. Every event is lively competition where the winner of that night gets to advance to compete in the next, and the audience members can participate as judges.
85 E. Fourth St.
Save your Sunday evenings for fiction readings and your Monday nights for poetry at the KGB Bar. This bar is known for being home to literary excellence where you have the chance to listen to and even meet with talented and passionate writers. The bar hosts literary events every night of the month, which includes NYU Emerging Writers Reading series where students from NYU’s Creative Writing graduate program and guest writers showcase their talent. The drinks are cheap, admission is free and readings are by some of the best writers in New York. What’s not to love?
If you’re looking to kickback with a more relaxed evening of poetry:
The Bowery Poetry Club
For a more relaxed atmosphere with an open mic that calls forth novice to veteran poets, the Bowery Poetry Club hosts a more eclectic string of monthly events that include but are not limited to featured readings, music video release parties, poetry and fiction writing workshops and live music performances. The cover is usually free or $10 at most and always guarantees an interesting and fun time in the NoHo area.
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince St.
This bookstore offers a place of escape from a chaotic evening in Soho featuring events of readings, international literature book club meetings and discussions with filmmakers, playwrights, essayists and novelists. There is also a cafe inside that allows you to kickback and relax with a coffee and pastry before you listen to a reading.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 30 print edition. Email Tiffanie Hwang at [email protected]