So you want to join the Omaha-metro slam poetry community — or should I say, family? You’re in luck! Everyone is super welcoming of newcomers. And, once you’re involved, you’ll get to know all the sweet souls who make it a wonderful and lively art scene.
Your first step is to check poetrymenu.com often. This is a website that lists all the upcoming poetry events in Nebraska. You can find updates and event information for anything not listed below that may pop up.
Want to feel inspired? Come write alongside a variety of artists at Bad Seed Coffee & Supply, located at 2452 Harney St., Omaha. Creatives & Coffee is held from 1 to 3 p.m. every second Saturday of the month. Search for the event pages, called “Creatives & Coffee,” on Facebook.
KANEKO holds biweekly poetry workshops, called Corner’s Space, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Hosted by Aspen Laboy, Chelsea Kavich, and Courtney Kilroy, Corner’s Space is free but registration is required. Visit thekaneko.org/programs/corners-space/ for more information.
Join the Nebraska Poetry Society, which holds regular virtual writing workshops. Amazing writers with a great deal of experience offer their expertise. The cost of a membership is $35 per year and all workshops are free with your membership. Find more here: nepoetrysociety.org/copy-of-events-1
Also — shameless self-promotion — I have begun holding poetry workshops at Pear Tree Performing Arts, 4801 NW Radial Hwy, Omaha. Learn how to write and perform slam. All ages are welcome. The cost is a $5 suggested donation. Like “Hailey C Poetry” on Facebook for more information.
Start the week right by doing some performance poetry. At 7 p.m., hop over to Maloney's Irish Pub, located at 162 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa, for a mixed-genre open mic. Sign-up is in advance on the “Maloney's Irish Pub-CB Sunday Night Open Mic (Powered by Nice Enough)” Facebook group.
Check out the Benson Hardy Coffee Co.’s mixed-genre, all-ages open mic night from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s located at 6051 Maple St., Omaha. Come early to sign up. All performers receive a free drink.
Brokedown Palace, located at 8805 Maple St., Omaha, holds bustling, mixed-genre open mics from 8 p.m. to midnight. Friend host “Sam Hatfield” on Facebook to sign up on the virtual list.
Midweek, get another fix of the performing arts at your choice between two different open mics (or both, if you’re feeling ambitious). The earlier show is at Razor Wire Productions, a tattoo shop and art gallery located at 1808 Vinton St., Omaha. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the intimate, mixed-genre mic for all ages begins around 6:30 p.m. It’s hosted by Kevin Lee.
Then, night owls can enjoy a loud, energetic mic at the Down Under Lounge, located at 3530 Leavenworth St., Omaha. Sign up a week prior at the longstanding, mixed-genre event, which runs from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. It’s hosted by Mad Darling Music. Like “The Down Under Open Mic” on Facebook to learn more.
Also, keep an eye out for “What’s The Word?”. Held on Wednesdays at the Berry & Rye, 1105 Howard St., Omaha, this occasional poetry show is a rich experience. It’s hosted by Jonny Knogood. Follow Berry & Rye on Facebook for updates on the next event.
Another performance opportunity is the “Red Velvet Curtain” open mic. Located at the Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St., Omaha, this vibrant poetry event begins around 8 p.m. It’s every third Thursday and hosted by Zedeka Poindexter and Phillip Bauldwin.
Good Vibez - Collective hosts a biweekly, mixed-genre open mic at Sozo Coffeehouse, located at 1314 Jones St., Omaha. Sign up for this all-ages, family-friendly event at the door. The show runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Whenever the space doesn’t have featured artists, there’s a mic. Like “Good Vibez - Collective” on Facebook for more information.
Take Up Space, a monthly open mic for ages 13-19, is a chance for teenagers to show what they’ve been working hard on. It’s held on the first Saturday of the month at Project Project, 1818 Vinton St., Omaha. Keep up with these events by following @newriters and @allwritesreservedfestival on social media.
Join the “Omaha Open Mics” Facebook page to keep up with the ever-evolving Open Mic scene.
The Omaha Poetry Slam is your monthly chance to compete with your words. It begins with an open mic and leads into the poetry slam. The winner earns $40 cash. Currently, the slam is on a break, looking for a new home. Join the “Omaha Poetry Slam Community” Facebook group and like the “Omaha Poetry Slam” on Facebook for updates.
Watch out for the Nebraska Poetry Society’s annual event, Slam Across Nebraska, happening this spring! This new, individual competition allows teens to show off their slam poetry skills. Youth poets across the state will compete in preliminary rounds. Then, top-scoring poets will be invited to a final stage this March. Those interested in volunteering should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Writes Reserved is an annual, passionate youth poetry slam festival in March and April. Middle school and high school poets take the stage to bare their hearts in this team-based competition. Preliminary rounds determine the top-scoring teams, which advance to the semi-finals. Then, four make the final stage. If you’re a teenager, check if your school has a team. Those older can still enjoy the show by watching or judging. The work is impressive and advanced for their ages.
Are we missing something? Contact me at email@example.com and we’ll update this list.