Anyone who claims that poetry is dead clearly hasn’t been to Albuquerque. With the luminous Sandias, the open skies, the thick scent of roasting green chile, the Duke City is a place of inspiration, and there are plenty of places around town where you can nurture your literary urges. From reading series (some with beer!) to open mics, there is an event for anyone interested in exploring their wordy side. Sure, you may wonder why you would seek out word-oriented events with those 300 pages of homework weighing you down, but those old dead white dudes can’t offer you a Cerebral Peepshow, blush-worthy rhymes and a chance at glory in front of the mic.
Here’s what this town has to offer word fanatics.
I’ll Drink to That
After appearing on the scene a few years back, I’ll Drink To That has emerged as one of the most fun-loving and energetic performance series, thanks to a sundry of entertainers and beer serving locales. IDTT features poetry, spoken word, comedy, music and more. Carlos Contreras, the host extraordinaire, welcomes performers from the area and the occasional out of stater if they have the chops. With a rotating group of artists, you never know who you’ll find sipping an IPA up on stage.
If you like your readings with a side of class, Chatter Sunday is the place to go. Housed in the striking Kosmos space, the series pairs music and writing in a surprising and affecting marriage 50 Sundays a year. The musicians are masters of their craft, performing both classical and contemporary pieces. The speakers are most often poets, but also include fiction and nonfiction writers. If you are looking for a meditative space to mentally reenergize before the workweek begins, search no further. The one-hour program of Chatter Sunday is the place to find your muse and a well-poured cappuccino.
Three is the magic number at DimeStories, where writers are timed at the mic as they deliver their (short) prose pieces. Compression results in tales of humor and heartache, true or not. Anyone can read at the mic, as long as they present fiction or nonfiction for three minutes. Hosts Jennifer Simpson and Merimee Moffitt suggest aiming for 500 words if you are looking to lay down your own tale. They welcome both readers and listeners every third Thursday of the month.
Two of the world’s finest, and oldest, creations come together for a night of brave, bizarre, blistering poetry. Held on first Wednesdays, Poetry ’n Beer features one or more marquee poets with an open mic for everyone else at the end. Although beer is encouraged for synchronicity’s sake, you can order an array of spirits from Blackbird Buvette, the micro club that plays host to the literary gang. They also serve tasty grub, if you can manage to eat with your mouth hanging open during the audacious performances.
A relative newcomer to the 505 readings scene, The Roost began as a creative, experimental music series. While it continues to focus on delivering an innovative, improvisational musical experience, the Roost also gives stage time to members of the Local Poets Guild. In addition, a Cerebral Peepshow will provide an intimate glimpse of a poet’s mind, if you dare (that could be a perilous [and sticky] place). Hoping the brain tour and music will inspire you to write, the Roost welcomes audience members to compose their own unique works. You never know what wildness flute/tuba/electronics unions might inspire.