Sometimes being a writer and poet in NYC can feel like a solo endeavor. It’s a big part of who you are, but a part that you don’t know how to share. Perhaps you just aren’t aware that there is a wide world of writing and writers waiting to get to know you and it’s right at your fingertips. Let’s reach into that world. New York City is the place to be, as an up and coming writer and poet. Here are just some of the websites, venues, forums, workshops, contests, publications, readings and libraries out there to help further your career, inspire you, encourage and connect you and help you become an active part of the creative community.
Venues for writers and poets in NYC
Places for you to share your work, listen to fellow writers, mingle with other creative minds and often just fun and unique spots to hang. There’s always an open mic somewhere.
Nuyorican Poets Café: Alphabet City
This dope place is a must visit for poets. With a full calendar of poetry slams, open mics and various other events, there is always something going on. It’s something of a haven as well, encouraging social empowerment and giving a platform to the voices of a diverse collection of artists. This place will definitely broaden your worldview. It’s close to the 2nd Ave and Delancey St subways.
Dixon Place: Lower East Side
This place calls itself an “artist incubator” and it is. They show their commitment to supporting the creative process by hosting various and sundry events in their location at 161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002. While they do host literary series, they also have loads of other kinds of performances. There’s never a dull moment here, so check it out.
Bowery Poetry Club
A Place for Poets is indeed a place for poets of all sorts to sign up for workshops, go to and take part in open mic nights and sometimes there are even concerts. It’s located in a cool neighborhood at 308 Bowery, NY between Houston and Bleecker St.
Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village & The Segue Foundation
Located on Bowery as well, the Segue Foundation is a well-known arts organization and publisher of contemporary poetry, criticism and poetry journals. They do really cool experimental readings at Zinc Bar near NYU. This past winter they had an orchestra play while poets read their work and it was probably one of the coolest things ever.
Poets House in Battery Park
This is an awesome resource for writers of all sorts. A national poetry library and literary center, it is the perfect place to read, study and write surrounded by tons of literature aka inspiration and there is also a lovely view—the Hudson River.
Publications, Inspiration, Internships, Tumblr & Online Archives
Belladonna: Calling all women writers, also, interns!
Found on their website, Belladonna’s mission is “to promote the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable and dangerous with language.” That’s pretty awesome. There are tons of opportunities and resources on their website, and they partner with various performance venues to hold readings. They also take interns! Check ‘em out!
A literary journal featuring the work of and often interviews of poets and writers. You can submit work to the magazine and potentially win money! Not to mention get published!
Poets & Writers
A good website for finding contests, writing prompts, tools for writers and for making connections with other writers via forums. It’s easy to sort through the contests, as there are search filters. If you’re a relatively broke college student but would like love to score some money by getting a poem published, you can search just for no or $5 entry fees.
Electronic Poetry Center
Electronic Poetry Center for an extensive library of digital poetry–good for studying contemporary poetry! & then there’s PennSound. University of Pennsylvania’s poetry website and online archive. You can listen to and download free readings by poets.
For the poet looking for great prompts or some inspiration, check out Bernadette Mayer’s writing experiments. Also, read poetry! Go to one of the websites or venues written about in this article. Use other artists as fuel to your fire.
For all my trendy Tumblr people, check out the Utopia Parkway page. It’s the collective effort of Lee Anne Brown, well-known poet and professor at St. John’s University, and her various poetry classes. You’ll find tons of great work written by students, links to various opportunities and postings about what’s happening in the poetry world.