Forget every other open-mike night you've ever been to. Who needs 'em, what with all the bad acoustic-guitar players and worse poetry, when we've got

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Best Place to Invoke the Beats

ToST Lounge

Forget every other open-mike night you've ever been to. Who needs 'em, what with all the bad acoustic-guitar players and worse poetry, when we've got the Seattle Poetry Slam? Every Wednesday night, some of the city's most promising wordsmiths congregate onstage at ToST to show off their skills and vie for a slot on Seattle's spoken-word team, which competes every year in the National Poetry Slam. But that's not to scare off the amateurs—though competition at the Slam is stiff, the audience is generally quite supportive, and ToST's loungey quality makes the event feel intimate rather than intimidating.And if you want to perform but don't feel like comparing yourself to some of Seattle's finest poets, there's also an open-mike segment in which performers can get up and say (or sing) whatever they want for four minutes.To keep it interesting week to week, the Slam always features one special guest poet, sometimes in conjunction with annual traditions like the Democracy Slam, which is decided only by ballot, without the usual audience-member judges. If young Ginsberg were living in Seattle today, this is where he'd go to earn his wings.—Sara Brickner

 
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