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Spoken Word is fast becoming one of the most preferred forms of entertainment for young and middle-aged Phoenicians.
In any given month, there are more than 30 spoken word/open mic events happening in the Valley of the Sun.
My favorite of all the spoken word gatherings is called “HomeBase: the Poets’ Poetry Set.”
HomeBase is held on the first and third Sundays of the month from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Downtown Sheraton Phoenix. Although HomeBase primarily caters to a professional African American audience, Spoken Word fans of ALL races are encouraged to attend and perform! The cover charge is only $5 and audience members should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early in order to find a seat!
HomeBase events were originally held at Doc’s Place on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road, but due to the overwhelming crowds and limited space, HomeBase moved to the Sheraton in mid-August.
Not only is Harold Branch III (also known as HB) the organizer and emcee for HomeBase, he is an extremely talented poet in his own right. He keeps the crowd laughing with his witty sense of humor and makes his audience members feel like they are a big part of the progress that HomeBase has experienced since it began in January 2009.
It’s truly inspiring to see the poets and singers who grace the stage. I admire how the poets use their wordsmithing skills and clever metaphors to deliver powerful messages. Moreover, I love the fact that HB challenges singers to perform a cappella! No background music – you have to prove that you can blow!
HB and his wonderful staff have managed to turn HomeBase into a MOVEMENT! HomeBase has the chance to be one of the most celebrated black events in Arizona’s history!
Downtown Phoenix is also home to the following African American spoken word events:
Jazzy’s Poetic Experience
Time: 6:30 PM
Date: Last Sunday of the month
Location Bentley’s, 308 N. 2nd Ave. (north of Van Buren St.)
Cost: $5 general
Black Pearl Poetry Phoenix Fridays
Time: 7:30-10 p.m. (every Friday)
Location: The New Fair Trade Café, 424 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Open Mic, Poetry Slams for adults, ASU students, and teens 14-19
Cost: $5 general/$3 student/$2.00 Teens (14-19)
For more information about Spoken Word gatherings in the Valley, visit PhxSoul.com!