Twin Cities Spoken Word Event Finder

Things are always changing, events come and go, but here’s an introduction to the spoken word and slam poetry scene in the Twin Cities. This is not a comprehensive list, just a starting point. Be sure to check out the individual websites, as some dates, times and locations are subject to change. Dive in! I wrote up a more basic guide to getting involved here too.

Re-Verb Open Mic (all ages)
Organized and hosted by TruArtSpeaks, this open mic is intimate and supportive, with optional feedback from the audience. Every Thursday at Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul (921 Selby Ave.), 6-8pm. There's also a writing workshop every first Thursday of the month at 4:30pm.

The Be Heard MN Youth Poetry Slam Series (teens)
This is a series of slams and workshops working toward an end goal of selecting a team to represent Minnesota at the annual Brave New Voices international youth poetry slam festival. It takes place every January through March, and also features the Flip the Script! youth writing and performance conference every February. Be sure to check out the TruArtSpeaks site for more information.

Button Poetry LIVE
Formerly known as the home slam of the two-time National Poetry Slam champion Soap Boxing team, this event is now a poetry slam with a high-profile feature organized by Button Poetry. It's still every first Monday of the month at CAMP Bar in downtown St. Paul; 7:30pm sign-up, 8pm show (there’s also an open mic on the other, non-slam Mondays). FB page.

Slam MN Poetry Slam
This is Minneapolis’ monthly slam, another big, popular event. Every fourth Tuesday of the month at Kieran’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis; 7:30pm sign-up, 8pm show. for the slam, and for the umbrella organization that runs other shows too.

Well-Placed Commas: A Weekly Poetry Workshop (all ages)
Sundays, 12-2pm at the Fox Egg Gallery in MPLS; More information here.

The Free Black Table (all ages)
Organized by poet Keno Evol, the Free Black Table is a free of charge, all ages open mic, dedicated to the writings of black artists and people of color. It isn't on a specific schedule, but happens fairly regularly. Check out Black Table Arts for more, including a writing group called Black Lines Matter.

OUTspoken Queer Open Mic
And another new open mic in town; "OUTspoken! is the Twin Cities' queer open mic. We empower queer voices and identities by building community through artistic expression. All are welcome!" Link w/ schedule and more info.

The New Sh!T Show Minneapolis
Started in San Francisco by poets Sam Sax and Nic Alea, the New Sh!t Show is now a chain of performance series across the United States in which performers and audience members are treated to something they've never seen before -- the new shit. Performers from all walks of art debut brand new material meant to encourage creativity and liven discussion about the Twin Cities performance scene. Third Fridays at Fox Egg Gallery. Link (the website may not be updated, but searching for "new sh!t show" on Facebook should turn up event pages).

Open Stages at Intermedia Arts (teens)
Free show hosted by youth, for youth. "We want to know: what’s your passion? Have you crocheted a sweater, baked a pie, written a poem, choreographed a dance routine, started a movement? Come share it with us on stage! Open Stages is all about you(th)!" Link for more info.

Loft Literary Center Writing Groups
Lots to explore here, especially for people looking to build community. Link.

Freedom of Xpression Open Mic (all ages)
Emerging artists of all ages are invited to take part in the Capri Theater’s monthly Freedom of Xpression open mic sessions, held the first Monday of every month. Performing artists in all genres, including music, spoken word/poetry, and dance are welcome Artists wanting to perform on stage are required to sign up between 5:30 and 6 p.m. the night of the event. Website link.

Word of Mouth Open Mic (all ages)
Happening January-April 2018 and potentially beyond. Switches between the Rice Street Library and In Progress, both in Saint Paul. Link.

College Slams and Open Mics (all ages)
HamlineMacalester, the U of MNMCTC and Carleton all have regular slams or open mics that are big and fun. Other colleges and universities in town probably do as well. I linked to the ones I could find, but a quick google or Facebook search should turn something up for your school. And usually, you don't have to be a student to watch the show or even sign up to perform.

Equilibrium at the Loft Literary Center (all ages)
This isn’t an open mic, but it’s one of the best ongoing spoken-word series in the Twin Cities. EQ highlights spoken word artists of color. Link.

Story Slam
This is a slam-style show for storytellers, featuring different story topics each month. Every first Tuesday of the month at Kieran’s Pub, 7pm doors, 8pm show. Link.

BALLS Cabaret
BALLS is an experimental cabaret open to artists of any and all disciplines at any and all levels of experience; every Saturday night at midnight at the Southern Theater. Link.

Eclectica (18+)
A new open mic presented by The Avant Garde; every Tuesday at 9pm at Reverie Cafe & Bar.

Fifth Element Hip Hop Open Mic (all ages)
This open mic caters to Hip Hop artists; check the schedule here.

Other events and organizations you should know about:

TruArtSpeaks: cultivates literacy, leadership, and social justice through the study and application of Spoken Word and Hip Hop culture. Hosts the Be Heard slams, ReVerb open mic, and more (FB link).

Button Poetry: the biggest online platform for spoken word poetry, as well as a publishing press; they regularly host events in the Twin Cities (FB link).

Word Sprout: an organization that organizes lots of spoken-word and storytelling events (FB link).

The Rockstar Storytellers and Northstar Storytellers put on storytelling shows and competitions.

The Loft Literary Center hosts events, workshops, classes, and more (FB link).

Black Table Arts organizes a range of events, open mics, workshops, and more (FB link).

Poetry Asylum: new! "dedicated to poetry and refuge and freedom. run by poets su hwang and sun yung shin. based in minneapolis."

Cracked Walnut "organizes readings in traditional and non tradition spaces in the Twin Cities Metro Area to procure a love for live literature, community and creativity (FB link)."

Palabristas: "Originally a Minnesota-based collective of poets, spoken word artists, writers of chican@/latin@ heritage-- members of the Palabristas now live in Minnesota."

Speakers of the Sun: "a collective of Asian American activists and spoken word artists in the Twin Cities focused on cultivating artistic voice and providing a space for growth."

There's also the MN Spoken Word Association, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, Intermedia Arts, the Saint Paul Almanac, the Canvas, SteppingStone Theater, the Fallout Urban Arts Center, and many other spaces and organizations that host open mics. This list is only a starting point!