Touted as the “best poetry event in the borough” by Brooklyn Magazine and “one of the most innovative literary events in the city” by Time Out New York, the Brooklyn Poets Yawp is a monthly poetry workshop & open mic held on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 to 9 PM. The event is hosted at 144 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights and also livestreamed via Zoom (closed captions available).
6:00 PM: doors open & open mic sign-up begins
6:30 to 7:30 PM: generative writing workshop
7:45 to 9 PM: open mic
Guests can purchase tickets to attend in person at 144 Montague Street or virtually via Zoom (note: virtual guests cannot read for the open mic). Advance online ticket sales end at 4 PM on the day of the event. After that, tickets for in-person attendance can be purchased at the door until we reach capacity; tickets for virtual attendance will no longer be available. After 4 PM, a Zoom link will be emailed to virtual ticket holders. Participants are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for in-person attendance, as the event usually sells out. Brooklyn Poets members take $5 off.
Each reader for the open mic can read one poem of 3 minutes max. Participants can purchase one of ten tickets in advance to reserve an open mic spot. Once those tickets sell out, all other participants who'd like to read for the open mic can purchase a ticket to sign up at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis. We usually have time for about 20–22 readers.
One poem at every open mic is declared Yawp Poem of the Month by audience vote. The winning writer earns a Brooklyn Poets tote bag, one of the twelve spots in our Yawp Poem of the Year contest and a ticket to our annual Awards Gala in December. We record and publish a monthly Yawpcast, so note that by reading you’re giving us permission to distribute your recording, unless you notify us otherwise. Also note that by participating in the Yawp, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of these policies. Thank you for respecting our community.
Workshop Leader & Featured Reader
Isabella DeSendi is a Latina poet and educator whose work has been published in Narrative, Leveler, Small Orange and other places. Her chapbook Through the New Body won the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship and was published in 2020. Most recently, she received a Poets & Writers BIPOC grant, and she has been named a finalist for the Frontier Digital Poetry Chapbook Award, the June Jordan Fellowship, Narrative‘s Annual Poetry Prize and Palette‘s Spotlight Award. Isabella holds an MFA from Columbia University and currently resides in New Jersey.
Brooklyn Poets Code of Conduct
Brooklyn Poets will not tolerate any instances of discrimination, harassment or abuse in conjunction with any of our programs. Respect and consideration for others, both within and outside our programs, are core values to be upheld by all participants. Discrimination against and/or harassment of community members on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, religion, age, marital status, veteran status or any other factor is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Program participants are expected to adhere to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Should a board or staff member, independent contractor, volunteer or program participant be found to violate any aspect of the organization’s code of conduct, Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss them from the program. Consequences may include, but not be limited to, dismissal from the current activity, suspension, ineligibility for all future activities, and/or loss of payment or fees. If you have any issues to report, please do not hesitate to contact Board President Isaac Myers III ([email protected]), Executive Director Jason Koo ([email protected]) or Deputy Director renée kay ([email protected]), and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
We are dedicated to keeping up with the latest info on COVID-19 to inform the policies we use to keep each other safe. This means they may differ from local mandates. Below is our policy for in-person workshops, events and other gatherings hosted at our space at 144 Montague Street.
All in-person attendees are currently required to wear masks. Please stay home if you are experiencing symptoms, have a positive COVID test or someone close to you has recently tested positive.
These policies are based on the current transmission level of COVID-19 in the NYC area and will remain in effect until transmission returns to low. Our understanding of transmission levels comes from the NYC COVID-19 statistics site as well as the CDC, with the knowledge that these numbers are likely underestimated due to the recent reduction in testing infrastructure.
We understand that you may be tired of taking these precautions and appreciate you taking action to protect others in your community during this time. If you are unwilling to take these precautions in our physical space, we invite you to register for our online offerings and attend our events via livestream.
While we do our best, Brooklyn Poets cannot guarantee zero risk. A risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in all public settings. By entering the building, students, teachers and other attendees accept the risk of exposure and knowingly waive and release Brooklyn Poets from any liability related to COVID-19.