Though April marks National Poetry Month, poetry is always in motion in Baltimore all throughout the year. A city that is prized by its unique history, eclectic artscape, and local charm is ready to spotlight the arts during the upcoming month. Though lots of events are happening all throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, there is no need to travel too far for relaxed and entertaining fun. Baltimore has plenty to do that showcases poetry by local amateur and professional poets. The literary Tell-Tale Heart of the city, its prized public library, is leading the way into National Poetry Month.

Enoch Pratt Free Library

prattlibrary Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Baltimore


Central Library
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201

Hours: Wednesday, April 4, 11 and 18, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Poe Room
Call to register for workshop sessions: (410) 396-5487

As always, one of Maryland’s best public libraries is hosting an array of poetry events for the entire family. In February, the library hosted local poetry contests, and in April to kick off poetry month, they will host events for the public. Speakers and workshops, as well as various opportunities to creatively share original poetry, will be part of these fantastic events. At the central library, How to Write Poetry workshops will be conducted by Clarinda Harriss, a local English professor from Towson University. There will be three sessions: Make a Joyful Noise, Learn the Rules and Then Break Them, and Go Global Reading. Studying the classics are great, but getting a taste for new contemporary works and new topics in poetry can be refreshing.

There will also be children and teen poetry events at the Clifton, Southeast and Herring Run branches throughout the month. Youth can post their own poetry on the library’s poet-tree as well as reciting poems, assembling poetry journals and creating and illustrating their own poems.

Waverly Branch
400 E. 33rd St.
Baltimore, Md. 21218

Dates: April 28, 2012 at 11 a.m to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact: Christophe Casamassima at, (410) 718-6574 or Doug Mowbray, or (410) 235-5712

poetryphoto13 Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Baltimore

(credit: Sherri Weaver)

Enoch Pratt Library Waverly branch will be hosting its annual Cruellest Month Poetry & Performance Festival. This is a special treat for poetry lovers. The group called Outside the Box performs music and rhythm in an interactive presentation as well as an expansive open mic spotlight for attendees. Several dramatic performances and poetry readings will be part of this spectacular celebration of the literary arts.

Central Library
Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 396-5430

Date: April 25, 6:30 p.m.

A rare opportunity to meet Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate, Sonia Sanchez, who has won numerous awards for her writing, will be sponsored by the library during National Poetry Month. Sanchez is a writer and lecturer who spotlights literature, women’s causes and multicultural equality in her writing and travels. This speaker series is a joint effort with Baltimore City Community College and the Pratt Library system.

Annabel Lee Tavern
601 S. Clinton St.
Baltimore, Md. 21224
(410) 522-2929

annabelleetavern Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Baltimore


Hours of Operation are quite limited. Call ahead for reservations.

For a couple’s evening out in honor of National Poetry Month, a quaint and enjoyable dining experience out would be just what the poet ordered. One of Baltimore’s finest restaurants and taverns located in the heart of Baltimore in Canton is a must experience. It is a place not just for locals, but also for tourists and lovers of literature alike. Annabel Lee Tavern is one of the most acclaimed, yet best kept secrets in Baltimore. The food is five star quality, however it is the staff that provides the family atmosphere and the backdrop of one of Baltimore’s most famous poets that gives the place an ambiance like no other in the country. Bring a book, a friend and good romantically poetic atmosphere, and fun and food will be served right up. Edgar Allan Poe has history in Baltimore, even more than the “Ravens,” and there’s no better way to honor poetry month than in another of his poem namesake’s places, the Annabel Lee Tavern.

5 Season Lounge
830 Guilford Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 207-9832

the5seasons Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Baltimore


Date: Warm Wednesday Open Mic Poetry hosted by Walter M. Jones, Every Wednesday 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Nfinite Productions Presents Poetry, Live Music, Visual Arts
April 15, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.

If one is looking for a jazzy poetry slam event, join patrons of Five Seasons Lounge/Nightclub for their ongoing open mic nights. They are sponsored by Walter Reid and is one of the country’s longest running Open Mic Night venues. Anytime during the year this place is filled with patrons sitting back relaxing in a local club environment with new talent stepping up to the mic. Music and bands are a specialty of Five Seasons. Every Wednesday is reserved for spoken word, poetry and comedy, otherwise known as Warm Wednesday Open Mic Night. Also throughout the month of April, special poetry and visual art performances will be highlighted for National Poetry Month.

Related: Best Offbeat Museums In Baltimore

The Art of Conversation at Peace & A Cup of Joe

713 W. Pratt St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(443) 868-4515

microphone Best Spoken Word And Poetry Venues In Baltimore

(credit: Thinkstock)

Date: Every Second Monday of the month at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Open Mic Registration
Price: $10 Admission

The Art Of Conversation is production group that performs, engages and interacts with the audience using spoken word, poetry and theatrical conversational devices to engage the audience. It is a new form of art that is expressive and comforting and entertaining for audience members. Ongoing performances are scheduled at one of Baltimore’s hottest coffee shops. Peace & Cup of Joe is a modern café with a laid back relaxing atmosphere where individuals can enjoy one of Baltimore’s best cup of coffee, homemade danishes, and other delights. In the upcoming months there will be live interactive performances by The Art of Conversation.

All of these venues are a quick start to enjoying, celebrating and honoring National Poetry Month, celebrating renowned poets, as well as local unknowns, and perhaps sparking one’s own creativity in spoken word, poetry and the literary arts. It is a tribute to Baltimore’s culture and history and to support the contemporary arts. Pick up a book, write a poem, and check out the events for Poetry Month.

Related: Maryland’s Best Poets

Sherri Weaver, an avid reader of classical literature, with a passion for writing, finds herself not only intrigued with history, but with the literary greats. A Baltimore County native, she finds her comfort zone in museums, libraries, and historical grave sites. Her work can be found at

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Comments (9)
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    Organic Soul Tuesdays at Eden’s Lounge is BY FAR my favorite poetry spot

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    Think you guys could actually leave your obvious comfort zones and find out that there is an entire living, functioning, and breathing part of this city that you seem to refuse to acknowledge that exists???…….

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