Bards & Brews Poetry Slam at Central Library, Friday, May 6

WHO: Birmingham Public Library
WHAT: Bards & Brews Performance Poetry/Beer Tasting
WHEN: Friday, May 6, 2016
WHERE: Central Library
TIME: Music starts at 6:30 p.m. and poetry performances begin at 7 p.m.

Birmingham Public Library's (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series returns with a poetry slam on Friday, May 6, at the Central Library. Usually held the first Friday of each month, the event will feature free craft beer sampling provided by Yellowhammer Brewing. The J. Clyde will handle the pouring.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with live music by Susan Lawrence, beer tasting, and light refreshments. The poetry begins to flow at 7:00 p.m. with Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins serving as host. The event is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Admission is free and open to the public; however, attendees must be at least 18 to enter and 21 to participate—ID is required.

“Bards & Brews brings in the most diverse crowd of any BPL-sponsored programs, and the poetry you hear reflects that diversity,” said Haruyo Miyagawa, department head of Central Library’s Arts, Literature and Sports Department. “You’ll hear hip-hop infused rhythms, romantic ballads, and everything in-between.”

Miyagawa said Bards & Brews has built a loyal following since it started five years ago.

“We've made ardent fans of folks who were skeptical about poetry as entertainment,” she said. “This is not your grandfather’s staid poetry event with the poet reading stiffly before a hushed audience. Guests are encouraged to express their appreciation for a riveting performance or their disapproval for a judge’s low score. At Bards & Brews, poetry becomes a communal experience, harking back to its roots in the oral tradition."

Poets wanting to participate in the slam can sign up on site for $5 each beginning at 6:30 p.m. The following month, Bards & Brews will take place at the Avondale Regional Branch Library on Friday, June 3, with an open mic poetry night. For more information, call 205-226-3670, e-mail, visit the Bards & Brews Facebook page, or go online to