Tickets for all open mic events are available online on the specific Event List event on the Busboys and Poets website beginning a week in advance of the event. Purchase limit of 4 tickets per person. You may also purchase tickets at the Busboys and Poets location hosting open mic a week in advance. Tickets are sold up until the start of the event or until they are sold out.


Q: Where can I go to see a Busboys and Poets Open Mic?
A: Busboys and Poets has an open mic event almost every night of the week at one of our 4 locations. Visit for a listing of dates, times and venues for all of our Open Mic poetry events.

Q: How much does it cost to attend a Busboys and Poets Open mic?
A: All of our regular open mics and themed open mics are $5 dollars for all guests.

Q. How can I get tickets to a Busboys and Poets Open Mic?
A: We sell tickets for all of our open mics at Most of our events sell out! So buy your tickets early because when they are gone, they are gone!

Q: Can I buy tickets for Open Mic at the door?
A: We reserve just a few tickets for door purchase but they sell out quickly. The best way to ensure that you get in at a Busboys and Poets Open Mic is to buy your ticket early at

Q: How can I read at Busboys and Poets Open Mic?
A: There are 3 ways to share your art at Busboys and Poets: the open mic, the Feature and the “Spotlight”. For beginners, regulars, seasoned artists, even professionals, the open mic is often the place to be. Most people begin their journey into poetry readings and performance at the open mic. Even professional artist still test their new work on the open mic. All you have to do to share your work too is attend an event, sign-up on the list, and share your gifts with a room full of supportive people! It is as simple as having something to share and having the courage to share it! You never know who may drop by: HBO Def Poets, National Slam Champs, critically acclaimed poets and writers, and even you! Come out this week and try it!

Another way to share your poetry with the Busboys and Poets community is as a featured artist. Busboys and Poets prides itself on showcasing some of the best literary, performance poetry and spoken word artist in the country. We are looking for seasoned writers and performers who have 30 minutes worth of dynamic, innovative, interesting work to share with our audiences. We ask that our features have at least 2 years of regional or national performance or writing experience. Features receive $150 payment, a complimentary guest, promotion on Busboys and Poets’ highly trafficked website and social media pages and the opportunity to sell your work. If you are interested in featuring at a Busboys and Poets event or open mic, you should send an email to Please include the following:

For Open Mics:

  • two videos and a writing sample•headshot (jpg or png)•artist resume or press kit•3 performance references (at least two outside of the DC Metropolitan Area). Please include: name of venue, city and state, name of host, email address or phone number

For Split This Rock presents: Sunday Kind of Love:

  • 2 writing samples and a video• artist resume or press kit• 3 performance references. Please include: name of venue, city and state, name of host, email address or phone numberYour work will be reviewed and you will be contacted if we have a feature opening for you.Lastly, Busboys and Poets is excited to be introducing the new artist “Spotlight”. The “Spotlight” is a mini-showcase of up and coming, newly discovered or community artist favorites who may not have the requirements for a full feature set but definitely have work worth sharing with the world. The “Spotlight” artist will perform 3 poems as an opener for the feature, have the opportunity to sell their merchandise and will receive one complimentary guest. If you are interested in being a Spotlight artist please send an email to

    Poetry Feature Submissions

    • MM slash DD slash YYYY
    • Max. file size: 2 MB.

    Q. Can I sign up for the open mic list in advance?
    A: The open mic sign up list opens a half hour before the open mic starts. There is no early sign up.

    Q. Can I sign a friend up for the open mic?
    A: Our open mic events and the open mic list often gets very full very fast. Therefore we ask that people only sign the open mic list for themselves.

    Q: Do I have to be a poet to perform on the open mic?
    A: While our open mics are primarily for poets many other artists have shared their work including comedians, instrumentalist, vocalist etc. However, Busboys and Poets has an ALL ARTIST open mic and talent showcase called LIVE! every 1st Fridays at our 14th and Vst location. We encourage you to check it out!

    Q. How can I find out who is hosting the open mic the night I want to attend?
    A: All of the Busboys and Poets hosts and the nights and locations they host are listed on our website

    Q: Can I bring children to Busboys and Poets Open Mic?
    A: Busboys and Poets is an all ages space. However, we do not censor our artists. We do however, ask artist to inform the audience if they will be performing adult content so that people with children can handle that information as they see fit.

    Q. Are there any rules for the Busboys and Poets Open Mic?
    A: Our most important rule is be supportive and have fun. Remember that we are here to share art and community.

    Q: How do I become a Busboys and Poets Poetry Host?
    A: Poetry Host applications are available on-line at the Busboys and Poets website When we are looking for new hosts we will call or email and schedule interviews and auditions for open positions.

    Q: What do I receive for hosting a Busboys and Poets open mic?
    A: The perks are ENDLESS! Each host receives:

    • $150 and a free meal for their hosting duties.

    • The opportunity to promote their own work and products at their event regularly.

    • The opportunity to build a large following supporters for other endeavors they are pursuing free access into all other Busboys and Poets open mics.

    • They often receive advance access to exclusive readings, performances and speaking events by some of the most talented artists, activist and entertainers in the country.

    often invited to perform with/for such notables as Sonia Sanchez, Suheir Hammad, Harry Belafonte, Alice Walker etc.

    • Poetry hosts are showcased on the busboys and poets website and Facebook page with over 75,000 followers.

    • Poetry host may receive opportunities to perform for community and regional events, readings, publishing opportunities.

    • Lastly, Poetry hosts receive the opportunity to be part of “a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.” ~Busboys and Poets Tribal Statement