Have you ever been to a poetry show? Have you ever been to the Writers’ Block Poetry show? I ask because this poetry show isn’t like most poetry shows. Irreverent to its core, Writers’ Block Poetry has spent 16 years honing its game and growing its audience.
What do I mean, “Irreverent?” Example: Host and nationally-known poet Scott Woods responds to a cell phone going off during the show with reading from a bad novel. Poets who stand up to read for the first time receive a monster introduction. Participants are sometimes given a tambourine or cowbell to improve audience responsiveness. Everyone – from newbies to regulars to veterans – is encouraged to bring something special to the show. Every week, Writers’ Block presents itself as a show first and foremost as well as a unique experience of live art.
Define “honing its game?” Writers’ Block produces special shows like decathlon slams and haiku death matches, brings in nationally-known voices to feature, provides support to poets with Facebook groups, gives workshops, and offers a diverse community full of respect and love for the art of the word.
As for growing its audience, not only does Writers’ Block reach out to all poets in all communities, it has also been part of making poetry happen at regional events like the Rust Belt Poetry Slam, arts events like the Columbus Arts Festival, and national events like the 2010 and 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Not to mention creating, organizing, and sponsoring shows from the monthly First Draft Open Mic (a show designed exclusively for never performed poetry) to the Columbus Page Meets Stage.
The results are clear. “People dig deep when they get on stage at Writers’ Block shows,” said Woods. “It is humbling.”
Join us at Writers’ Block Poetry every Wednesday, 8pm, at Kafe Kerouac (2250. N. High). $5 at the door for poetry shows including open mic every week as well as poetry slams, special shows, and features as scheduled. See www.WritersBlockPoetry.com or call 614-545-8368 for more information.
GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.