Best Spoken Word Venues

April 6, 2011 12:05 AM

(credit: Associated Press)

header gabrielbuoys afp getty Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: Gabriel Buoys/AFP/Getty)

Everyone loves a story. From ancient times when we sat around campfires, to the era of huddling in front of a radio, humans have an innate desire to listen to a tale. Fortunately, story telling is alive and well in Los Angeles. Spoken word events pop up in theatres, restaurants and bars; including stories true and imagined, music or poetry. Spend an evening listening to a good yarn; share a few laughs, a poignant moment, and possibly a few tears.

featured hollyhuges expressingmotherhood Best Spoken Word Venues

Holly Huges on stage. (credit:

Expressing Motherhood

Elephant Space
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
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Offering a run of shows a couple of times a year, mothers share all aspects of parenting with gut wrenching honesty. Celebrate Mother’s Day this year with a girlfriend’s Mom’s Night Out filled with laughter. After hearing these stories, all moms can take comfort when their own well-intentioned parenting backfires.  Tickets: $25 for opening night April 27th, $20 for all others April 28th – 30th, and May 4th-May 7th.

Word Play

Flappers Comedy Club
102 E. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA
(818) 845-9721
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With a live DJ on stage mixing tunes, Word Play’s writers tell their true stories to a live soundtrack. This is storytelling that favors humor enhanced by music. Held at the Flappers Comedy Club, the restaurant and bar provide the perfect dinner-and-a-show evening.  Tickets: $20

featured ugly mug Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: The Ugly Mug)

Two Idiots Peddling Poetry

The Ugly Mug
261 N. Glassell Ave.
Orange, CA
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The Poetry Idiots provide an opportunity to revel in poetry every Wednesday night in a cozy coffee house. Each evening features one or two poets chosen to read several of their poems, and then an opportunity for a few poets to spontaneously read a few of their own.  Tickets: $3

featured tasty words associated press Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: Associated Press)

Tasty Words

Every Picture Tells A Story
1333 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA
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What better place to tell stories than in a bookstore? Approximately one evening a month, the bookshelves are moved to the side and the audience packs the store. Each evening has its own broad theme. This year they include: stories about grandparents, travel tales, and examples of women who get better with age. Part of the fun is hearing how each writer interprets the subject differently.  Tickets: $20

featured gypsy den Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: Gypsy Den)

Gypsy Den

125 N Broadway Ave.
Santa Ana, CA
(714) 835-8840
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Gypsy Den is a bistro style café that invites poets on stage the first Tuesday of the month. It’s an open mike format moderated by an MC who keeps the evening moving. With organic food and a myriad of coffee choices, Gypsy Den provides a relaxed evening of feeding the body and the soul.  Tickets: Free

featured tongue hotelcafe Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: Hotel Cafe)

Tongue and Groove

The Hotel Cafe
1623 ½ N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 937-0136
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Once a month The Hotel Cafe turns over its stage to writers of fiction, poetry, and personal essay. The variety of styles gives the audience a sampler of all types of spoken word genres. A musical act is usually thrown into the mix. This hip Cahuenga bar provides an intimate setting for the heartwarming and the hilarious.  Tickets: $6

featured spark off rose Best Spoken Word Venues

(credit: Spark Off Rose)

Spark Off Rose

Powerhouse Theatre
2116 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 933-1461
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On the first Monday of the month, seven writers walk onto a stripped bare stage and read a true-life story. The starkness of the stage and the honesty of the story create an aura of intimacy around the evening. Each month the writers explore a different theme; later this year writers will share stories about sex, weather, and toys. A reception follows each show with coffee and food providing the opportunity for the audience and writers to mingle.   Tickets: $10, reservations required

Kim Allen-Niesen writes Bookstore People blog which reviews independent bookstores all over the country and discusses various literary topics.

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