We celebrate poetry every day in our spaces. From the art, to the books, to our Tribe (several who are poets!), poetry surrounds us and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether it’s an Open Mic Night or just grabbing a few books of poetry to read, there’s no wrong way to celebrate with us this month.

Pick up a new book of poetry (maybe Magical Negro by Morgan Parker?) or an older favorite such as Sonia Sanchez’s Shake Loose My Skin to enjoy.

Open Mic Nights are hosted nearly every day with something for everyone to enjoy. Expect to hear from a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week. Expect to be moved, expect a packed house, expect the unexpected, but above all come with an open mind and ear. We can’t wait to have you.


Some Notable Events to Attend

April 9, 2019 | Poetry on the Outfield at Audi Field

April 12, 2019 | 11th Hour Poetry Slam hosted by Charity Blackwell

April 18, 2019 | A Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 19, 2019 | STOKED: Burlesque and Poetry

April 20, 2019 | Youth Open Mic Night featuring 2019 DC Youth Poet Laureate Gabriela Orozco

April 22-26, 2019 | South African Poets from Tswane are a residency at Busboys and Poets

April 30, 2019 | The Beltway Poetry Slam featuring Rudy Francisco


Download our National Poetry Month calendar here. Print it out at home and make sure you don’t miss one of our awesome poetry events this month!

PHOTO 2024 02 01 07 10 14

For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

PALESTINE WEEK 1920 x 1080 px 2

Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

Why We Are Doing Palestine Week

Why We Are Doing Palestine Week

– by Andy Shallal, CEO & Founder Busboys and Poets The past few months have been traumatizing for anyone with a cell phone and access to social media. For people living in Gaza it has been unimaginably horrific seeing entire families wiped out and most of Gaza’s inhabitants displaced, starved and without shelter. 1 in … Continued

Accessibility For All

Accessibility For All

Busboys is a community space that strives to be welcoming, uplifting and accessible to all, regardless of physical ability.

ministry of culture

5. Cuba – Ministry of Culture

We approach the towering yellow stucco building that houses the Ministry of Culture. There is a delegation waiting patiently to greet us at the sidewalk. They are standing in front of a metal gated entrance. Their inviting faces have welcome written all over. We exchange “Holas”. And handshakes. The handful of Spanish words I know … Continued

Busboys and Poets Books Review: Jim Brown, Last Man Standing

Busboys and Poets Books Review: Jim Brown, Last Man Standing

In clear, fluid prose, Dave Zirin chronicles the life of legendary Cleveland Browns running back, Jim Brown, from his childhood in St. Simons Island, Georgia, raised by three women, through his NFL and Hollywood acting careers, to his cultural impact as a Black Power icon in the 1960s and beyond. Zirin reveals a complicated picture … Continued