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Live Poetry & Arts Events in Georgia This Spring

by C.W. Bryan

April is coming up soon, and National Poetry Month is nearly upon us. To celebrate, we wanted to put together a collection of live events that celebrate poetry and the arts in Georgia. If you are a resident of Georgia or just planning on visiting, here is a collection of events and locations that deal with poetry, music, writing and the arts at large.

Music & Poetry at HowdyATL Biscuit Cafe – Grant Park, Atlanta

Local poets C.W. Bryan and Sam Kilkenny, operators of poetryispretentious.com, have moved into the physical space. The last Wednesday of every month, Poetry is Pretentious is hosting a night Music & Poetry at HowdyATL. Howdy, located directly across from the Atlanta Zoo, will open at 6 p.m. for a night of musical performances and poetry readings, all from local performers.

At each event, a small, handsewn poetry collection will be made for the keynote performer. This grass roots event will feature talent from the Grant Park area, as well as performers in the greater Atlanta area.

Howy will be offering drinks and dinner with each event, too. So come hungry. And come ready for a phenomenal night of music and words. The show will feature a rotating roster of four to five performers and run from 6-8 p.m.

If you are looking to fill those boring Wednesday evenings, or if you are a fan of the arts, especially the local arts, come out to HowdyATL. There is no entry fee for the event. The venue is located at 753 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, Georgia.

The Writer’s Circle of Atlanta – Atlanta

Poet and actor Cat Keeton and Gabby Fenimore host the Writer’s Circle of Atlanta every Saturday evening. The event is very homegrown and features dozens of artists ranging from poets, musicians, screenwriters and prose writers, though no artistic form is off limits. Want to share your work and get feedback on your projects? Or make connections and collaborate with Georgia artists? The Writer’s Circle is the place to be.

The Writer’s Circle boasts nearly 100 members and is ever expanding. The group is filled with kind, supportive people, and Keeton and Fenimore have cultivated a safe space to be vulnerable and share your work. You can reach out to them via their Instagram page @writerscircleatl.

Keeton describes the event as a “creative community and work session for the curious, aspiring or working writer.” Occasionally, they hold live events. Their most recent event called the Writer’s Circle Showcase was held on December 1, 2023, at the Robert Mello Studio. The event showcased original scripts, poems and songs.

Poetry in the Park – Decatur

Poetry in the Park is exactly what it sounds like: a peaceful evening of poetry while enjoying a picnic in the park. The event is hosted by Poetic Sarcasm and is a recurring event. You can find tickets on Eventbrite here. There is no fee for tickets, though donations are encouraged.

Here is what the organizers have to say about the event: “Ever taken a random picnic with friends? Remember being a kid and having no worries besides being home before the streetlight? Well Poetry in the Park takes you back to those days, no worries, all vibes. Taking a breath amongst the trees feels so grounding. Exploring creative talents while feeling revived never felt so great. From live poetry to soul playlist, with fun games while sitting on your picnic blanket cloud gazing all at the same time.”

If a nice, relaxing evening of poetry and picnics sounds like your perfect kind of vibe, consider getting tickets to this fun event. It is located at 3700 Columbia Parkway Decatur, Georgia. In the heart of the beautiful and charming Summergate Park, this event will be a blast for all who participate.

Saturday Writers Workshop hosted by ArtsXchange – East Point

If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a writer’s workshop, now is the time. This workshop is taking place on April 4, 2024, from 2-4 p.m. It is located at 2148 Newnan Street East Point, Georgia.

Here is what the organizer has to say about the event: “Join us for the Saturday Writers Workshop, a monthly gathering of wordsmiths and creative minds. Hosted by the dynamic poet and 2011 Poetry Slam Champion Theresa Davis, this workshop promises an inspiring journey into the art of writing.”

Engage in interactive sessions using thought-provoking prompts and ekphrasis: the art of vividly describing a visual work of art through words. Unleash your creativity and watch your writing evolve in unexpected and exciting ways.

Admission is $5. Your support helps sustain these enriching workshops. Please contribute at the door to ensure the continuation of this creative community. This event is a great opportunity if you’re looking for a more hands-on event rather than listening to performances, and its $5 admission price makes it one of the most accessible and affordable writing workshops out there. Purchase a ticket here or visit artsxchange.com to secure your spot. Registration is required (and very useful when securing snacks. What better time to do so than National Poetry Month?

Illumine at Oakland Cemetery – Atlanta

Oakland Cemetery by Chris Lexow from Flickr Creative Commons

If poetry and writing aren’t what you’re looking for, Illumine might be the event for you. Located in the beautiful Oakland Cemetery at 248 Oakland Avenue SE, Atlanta, this event is running for 10 days.

Here is what the organizers have to say about the event: “As the sun sets, the cemetery is transformed. Through innovative lighting and art installations by local artists, interactive experiences and live music, Illumin 2024 will light up the shadows of the night. Experience Oakland after dark against the inspiring backdrop of Atlanta’s glittering skyline.”

In addition to exploring parts of the cemetery after the sun goes down, Illumine attendees will also enjoy live entertainment, multiple bars and an Oakland popup shop. There will be musical performances by OKCello and Veronika Jackson as well as the Bonaventure Quartet.

The event will begin on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Check the website here for more specific start times and dates. If you reserve a ticket in advance, they are $20. You can secure your tickets ahead of time for this enigmatic event here.

C.W. Bryan was born and raised outside of Atlanta and resides in Grant Park. He is currently writing daily poetry prompts, along with some original poems, with a friend of his at poetryispretentious.com. His debut poetry chapbook, Celine, was published in the fall of 2023 by Bottlecap Press. Read his poetry on Deep South here. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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