NYC Music. Poetry. Spoken Word. Comedy
NEW YORK CITY Open Mics. Showcases. Special Events. Off Broadway. Fundraisers.
Founded by longtime journalist and former Village Voice columnist Mike Geffner, The Inspired Word began as strictly a poetry series in March 2009, on a blizzard of a Monday night at a sleepy vegan organic restaurant along Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.
Like most new things, the event had its kinks and catastrophes.
The microphone didn’t work right, if at all. The stage, makeshift (and that’s being generous) sucked. Hardly anyone showed (a dozen or so, tops). And you could barely hear the poets above the chatter of other customers who clearly came only to eat dinner, not listen to poetry.
Yet, less than a single year from that dubious start and after the vegan organic restaurant abruptly went belly up, The Inspired Word drew upwards of 90 people to its Manhattan debut at the Greenwich Village club, (le) poisson rouge, in Jan. 2010, before quickly establishing itself as one of the hottest spoken word/poetry series in New York City.
The Inspired Word went on to expand to music and comedy and feature the impressive likes of Golden Globe Award winning actress Jill Eikenberry, Pulitzer Prize winning poets Tyehimba Jess and Gregory Pardlo, Golden Globe/Emmy nominated actress Amber Tamblyn, TV comedian John Fugelsang, prolific film/stage actor Taylor Negron, Grammy nominated singer Carolyn Malachi, American Idol finalist Anwar Robinson, Hollywood exec Eve Brandstein, award-winning crime novelist Marcus Sakey, and HBO Def Poetry stars Gemineye, Suheir Hammad, Oveous Maximus, Shihan, Patricia Smith, Lemon Andersen, Beau Sia, and Regie Cabico. Also, with its ever-growing open mic, the series has given voice to a slew of stunning emerging artists.
In January of 2012, we were featured on the Travel Channel’s Hidden City; in March of 2013, we were featured on MTV‘s Washington Heights; and in July of 2013, were featured on the Style Network’s reality show City Girl Diaries.
The Inspired Word has produced countless open mics, showcases, fundraisers for breast cancer, diabetes, and lupus, inner city literacy, LGBT youth at risk, and a greener environment. It has also staged poetry, storytelling, and comedy slams, LGBTQ and Best American Poetry nights, and walked on the wild side with erotica and burlesque events. In 2018, we started doing nights Off Broadway at the famous Triad Theater, where Lady Gaga made her professional debut.
The vibe is addictive, the community supportive, and the nights always inspiring.
The Inspired Word mission: to celebrate live performing arts (spoken word, poetry, music, comedy, storytelling) in New York City; to inspire creativity, action, and change through the arts; to tear down the walls separating us by finding unity through community.
Bottom line, we are a family of artists.