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Sweetie's Open Mic

Sweetie’s Café and Bar, located just north of North Beach, is on the periphery of what has been mythologized by some San Franciscans as the perfect venue for spoken word. While Sweetie’s atmosphere leans closer towards family gatherings than public reading, the bar's recent spoken word series has created a community of writers who reveled more in the sharing of the spoken word than in the acclaim of others.

For the last three months, Sweetie’s has been presenting a featured author followed by an open mic showcasing anyone and everyone who wanted to read. Fortunately, though the current series of authors is complete, it has been so successful that the open mic session will continue indefinitely, with the possibility of a new slate of authors reading in the future.

The crowd of writers and poets who frequent Sweetie’s are a mix of those who have been around San Francisco long enough to remember its golden age of literary triumphs and those who don’t believe it will ever end. Not as gritty as a slam event or as formal as some of the sharper-edged commercial readings, Sweetie’s Open Mic is a testament to each writer’s ability to bring their own best to life. “Now is your time to shine,” the MC proclaimed.

Whether singing Old West Virginia Coal Miner’s Union songs from the 30s and 40s or free versing about a divine April fool to lift us all out of the violent miasma we find our world sinking into, every poet had a powerful message that was delivered with intensity. During the reading spontaneous cries of, “That’s a poem!” and “Go!” keep the crowd and the artist connected in a verbal dialectic of laughs, rhythmic lines, and ahhs.

As even stronger drinks were served and pizza dough was deftly shaped like sharply punctuated syllables the calmness of the night descended into the room and we all saturated our souls in the spoken word.

Sweetie's Open Mic
Mondays at 7:30 pm
Sweetie's Café and Bar
475 Francisco between Powell & Mason, SF, 415.433.2343