Spoken Word in east London: Pick of the Line 29/03/12 – 04/04/12

"You could attend a different spoken word night every night of the week in east London" pic: Thomas Hawk

On Pick of the Line this week we bring you our guide to spoken word events in east London.

Spoken word is an upcoming form of poetry performance. Across east London artists and enthusiasts gather in halls, pubs, bars and restaurants to share their love of spoken poetry.

Following a thoroughly enjoyable night at Jawdance in Bethnal Green, EastLondonLines felt compelled to share enough spoken word events to fill your week.

From simple, unaccompanied performance, to band-backed free-styling in east-end restaurants, the variety found in spoken word ensures you’ll keep finding new elements of the art form to enjoy.

Use our categorized listings to discover an event to suit you.

Events with open mic

These are open slots for you to take the mic and have a go. Sign up early if you want to perform; you usually need to arrive half an hour before the night starts, and you’ll be given a slot of between one and four minutes. The number of available slots vary, and some nights are always over-subscribed. We have provided contact details where possible so check with the host beforehand if you’re keen to perform. Open mic is not, of course, compulsory, but if you’re feeling inspired it can be a great way to show off your work.

Feature spot

Nights which feature line-ups with professional and renowned poets and performers.

Live music, DJ sets and other media

Here you can find events that feature live music between poetry performances, or live bands to accompany spoken word pieces. You can also expect film screenings, and projections. If you’re keen for a night that includes dancing, you can find events which include DJ sets here too.


Spoken word is not always a serious art form, and many poets incorporate humour or stand-up routines into their performances.


A competition where artists perform short sets which are judged by the audience. Sometimes the competition is between professionals, sometimes just open mic-ers. Check with the promoter to be sure.

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