April is National Poetry Month. Whether you are an accomplished or novice poet or you just have a real love for the spoken word, April offers up the blooming talents of many artists in Philadelphia. Poetry in the 21st century incorporates multiple stimuli such as music, DJs and other various technologies and art. The expression of self, the feeding of the soul and the inspirations are the same, but this is not your grandma’s poetry. Perhaps you may want to try something new this April.
Coffee After Dark
Wired Beans Cafe
301 W. Chelten Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 844-1101

Dates: Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

The brainchild of Poet DeLantz, a former barista, Coffee After Dark poetically fuses together the stimulation of coffee with the stimulation of the heart and mind every Thursday evening. The Wired Beans Café has a full menu with many vegan and vegetarian options and offers fresh fruit. You can either experience the spoken word from poets who use storytelling techniques in their poetry, or get up there yourself and express your own inner poet and artist. The Wired Beans Cafe also opens the mic up to singers and musicians.

Jus’ Words
Dowling’s Palace
1310 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19121
(215) 236-9888

Dates: Every Thursday at 8 p.m.

Jus’ Words is a weekly spoken word hosted by Ms. Wise, E the Mcee and Shyste. All talent is welcome. Dowling’s place has showcased some of the world’s most famous artists since 2003 and holds numerous weekly events from karaoke and jazz to different types of poetry. Come to feed your soul and your belly with some soul food and whet your whistle with some adult beverages.

Peace, Love & Poetry
1400 Columbus Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 462-2000

Date: April 29 at 8 p.m.

Peace, Love & Poetry takes poetry to the next level by combing elements of music from either live musicians or a DJ — which may sound the same as people creating song, but the words are more prominently featured. Each show is themed and unique. Peace, Love & Poetry features some of the best vocalists in the area. This event will be hosted by SuiteFranchon at the southern-style hangout Warmdaddy’s. Located along the Delaware River in the middle of the Philadelphia nightlife, Warmdaddy’s has not only Southern décor, but also that famous Southern hospitality (including good eats!).

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Moonstone Art Center
110A S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 735-9600

Moonstone Art Center offers a place for artists to gather together, learn from each and perform. This center also has over 200 special events and workshops throughout the year. It is a must for any budding poet and can be a fun activity for anyone who works with words. This poetry center also publishes a chapbook annually for any poet who wishes to be included. Some innovated events at the Moonstone Center have even included poetry with the use of puppets and invented infrastructures.

3rd Annual Poetry Festival
Central Library
1901 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 686-5322

Date: April 27

This event, which is in its third year, invites all local poets and poetry groups to come out and share their work at the library for this free festival. Featured speakers, poets and entertainment are currently being lined up for the event, which promises to be bigger and better than the previous two years.

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Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.