The Bowery Poetry Club

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King’s students perform at hip New York poetry haven

Some King's students play sports for fun, others debate, and yes, some do study.  Lucy Doughty (MCA '14) performs poetry. But it's not quite the same poetry your grandma would enjoy (those simple rhymes ofcountrysides). It's "spoken word" poetry - a style of poetry that tells a story and usually performed by one person, speaking almost naturally and with a rhythm that resembles rap or another form of rhythmic melody.

You can find Doughty almost every Tuesday night at the Bowery Poetry Club and Café (308 Bowery), either performing original poems or watching other aspiring (even famous) poets.

At its core, the super casual Bowery Poetry Club is a black box theater with a bar and a stage. Each week nearly two hundred people pack into the small venue to hear hipsters, aspiring poets, and regular Joes pour out their souls through the spoken word form. Doughty is one of them.

The club hosts poetry slams and open mic nights weekly. The day after Valentines, Doughty performed at the "Bitter Hearts" open mic night. Her beautiful and cutting poem "Diamonds" had the captivated audience snapping, oohing and awing.

Doughty, who has been writing poetry for about five years, says of her inspiration, "I write poetry to explore what it is people need about each other and how people fit into their relationships with the world," Doughty explains.

Doughty isn't the only Kingsian who has performed at The Bowery Poetry Club. John Simo (Business, '14) performed his poem "Gillian" last night at the Bowery.

Both Doughty and Simo find themselves in excellent company. Famed slam poet Taylor Mali and poet RogerBonair-Agard perform at the Bowery frequently. Both are National Slam poetry champions.

"Bowery is where they started, where they call home and where they go weekly," Doughty says.   But the Bowery is more than just a flocking ground for accomplished poets and hipsters.

"The Bowery hosts more than poetry [slams and open mic nights]. They host word shops and have poets speak on their craft. They showcase art as well."

To get involved, interested King's students can check out their website, http://www.bowerypoetry.com/#Home or just show up and sign up at The Bowery on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm. Cover is $7 or $5 with a student ID, and open mic night never goes past 10:30. So put down your philosophy book, shut off your computer and go to The Bowery, where poetry has a voice - yours.

MiscLuke Anderson