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The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) Lyrical Ambush creates a space for artists to explore social justice, racism, campaign finance, international events, police brutality, war vs peace, corporate domination vs meaningful democracy, the “war on drugs,” and the misuse of fear to degrade civil liberties.

2016 is an unprecedented year in American politics and we KNOW this community is holding onto some bombs and fire – come kick it with us — guerrilla style at 3 Sunday Open Mics (Aug, Sept & Oct).

We welcome families with bubbles, sidewalk chalk and encourage kids to share the mic alongside seasoned artists and passerbys. Musicians, drummers, percussionists would add spice. A GPI Ambush includes whoever shows up to listen and share their truth.

Sunday, August 21, 2016 4:00-6:00pm
Sunday, September 25, 2016 4:00-6:00pm
Sunday, October 23, 2016 4:00-6:00pm

Hey Guerrilla Poets!

Our friend Rica Madrid has been part of a march from NYC to DC to demand the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment into the US Constitution with performance artist Natalie White. #MarchForERA started on July 8 and will go to July 23, walking 250 miles over 16 days through cities like New Brunswick, Philadelphia, Newark Delaware, Baltimore, and eventually College Park and DC. Here’s how you can support them:

We are seeking talent for the event we are throwing at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville on July 22. I have been inviting folks to the event but may have missed some of you — please don’t hesitate to RSVP if you’d like to come! If you’d like to perform a poem, sing or speak words in the theme of feminism, equality, or anti-oppression, please be in touch with Amanda Krause (, our event coordinator.
Lastly we are marching from College Park Metro to the Capitol (basically straight down Rhode Island Ave; about 8 miles) for a rally at 2pm. This is our final event of the #MarchforERA and it’s likely to be our largest turnout. We invite noisemakers, chanting, voices, drums and all rabble-rousing to join us. It would mean a lot to me to see some of your beautiful faces there.

Old friends and new faces popped into Bossa in February to share their poetry. Every second Tuesday of the month there, we get a chance to share our hearts and minds through poetry and even experience a little creative therapy in the process. Here are some highlights from the night:

John only had one thin blanket between him and the moon, and he showed us what’s all mixed up like those stars in a dancing sky.

Jess tore the press a new one hoping their talking heads would pop off from all their hot air, then calmed down with breathing and feeling like we’re going to get it someday.

Paul longs for quiet but holds on to the noise, still taking care of those bibles like passages that aren’t there.

Sam read Che Guevera’s favorite poem The Dark Messenger by César Vallejo, and then he declared himself a certified geekologist, exploring his tech-nerd spidey sense vs. comic book side.

John had a piece published recently in Gargoyle Magazine and plugged his friend’s blog The Song Is. Check them out.

See you at Bossa in March!

Happy New Year! Luis and the gang had a great time at the open mic at Bossa in January. Around six or seven different performers got up on the mic several times in front of a half-full house.

Come see us again in February on the second Tuesday…

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 7-9 PM
at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW, DC

It was an intimate and nostalgic night at Bossa in December. Friends from the Dupont Circle days swung by to share some love and OPP. The open mic vets were swapping the mic, as a catalog of hits kept rolling out. Jessica tried to make the audience into a reggae band, and many giggles were had. Here are the highlights…

Wandering eyes your fears can’t follow me

Putty in our hands they’ve been molding us since youth

Beautiful blue lake

You see the schisms and the divisions in humanity

We think we’re some seraphim flying around the globe

Life is full of heroism

The battle is within us

Welcome y’all to my laboratory where I develop my oratory

Master of my domain, straight thinkin’ with the lincoln

Reaching for their piece, we’re just saying our peace

Wrapped up

David standing up to Goliath


Bam! What a collage of ideas…should’ve heard the rhythms in their wake. And you can in 2016! Join us at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW DC, on Tuesday Jan. 12th, 7-9 PM. Come to listen come to share. Happy New Year!

We had a special November at Bossa, with guest hosts Margaux Delotte-Bennett and Michael Anthony Ingram warming the mic in between poets. They had a blast hosting the GPI open mic!

There were ten people on the mic, and many who were on the mic for the first time in their lives. Some original pieces were shared, but folks were also encouraged to share pieces from others that they liked or admired. The crowd was small and very lively! OPP ruled the night. We had a few poetry anthology books on hand, and it was nice to see people choose different poems from the books to read. Luis was there to thrill the crowd with his poetic genius. It was a great night!

We had a great time in October at Bossa. With some new voices and veteran GPIents on the mic, we rocked it for audience members from the GPI good ole days and the DC Poetry Project meetup group. Here are some highlights:

Zane became Walter White from Breaking Bad…no, clearly you don’t know who you’re dealing with!

Jess tapped into her dreams and explained how we’re going to get it.

Luis OPP’d The Peace Warrior: while the outside spins and weakens, the peace warrior grows…inside, patiently waiting.

Jen for just once: would like to hear the breath of emotion without being called a bitch, would like to be successful without being viewed as a threat, would like everyone to be equal.

And there was much more…calm trees, no pain, the mad hatter, odes against facebook, life abounding from the sky to the ground, a simon and garfunkel recitation, and snappy beats. Join us out at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW DC, every second Tuesday of the month, 7-9 PM. See you there!


Howdy GPI! Our friends at the DC Poetry Project have been coming out to our DC open mics this year and spreading the poetry love. We want to help spread the word about their weekly radio open mic, during which you can call in and share your work:

The Power of Poetics: The DC Poetry Project’s Open Mic Poetry Call-In Show!

The Power of Poetics airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm EST / 5:00pm PST! Hosted by Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, Executive Director of the DC Poetry Project, the show offers poets, spoken word artists, as well as other writers opportunities to openly celebrate their love for words in all its forms. So join us to share or listen to poems, prose, or other styles of expression with an audience of open minds and ears. We may be physically located in Washington DC, but our love for poetry is worldwide!  If there are questions, please call the DC Poetry Project Office at 202-540-0327, email at or tweet @dcpoetryproject.

You can see members of the DC Poetry Project perform live every second Tuesday of the month, 7-9 PM EST, at the GPI Open Mic at Bossa at 2463 18th St. NW, Washington, DC.

We had a great group of newcomers and regulars at our September open mic. Even those who not sure they would read that night were inspired by the end of it to share their minds, like we’ve seen at so many of our open mics. Thanks to all who came out! Here are some highlights:

Michael’s poem saw the poet and jumped; and he recounted how love does funny things before dying.

Jess’s peace poem told us we’re going to get it–hopefully without so much bullshit bullshit.

Sly showed us a reality that continually rapes a dream; hope and change seems to rest on a dusty shelf.

Suriya’s Message to the Judge…my eyes tell epic sages telepathically, ’cause words would take too long. Your majesty, I just hope your ESP is on.

Ryan OPP’d Gabe Moses, How to Make Love to a Trans Person…Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are; they’re just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts.

Kristie shredded Gretel…she thought she could follow herself back.

Danny said we’re mad because we were told what to want, even though we’re just dudes from Vermont; hatred will still eat your fucking heart away.

Suzi told us things you should never say to a therapist…right now I’m not trying to get committed while I pay my loan off.

Derek’s desire holds no boundaries; each time he passes city lights it reminds him of his beauty’s heart beat.

Red reminisced: you were such a charming mother[...mmm], every time you spoke you made my heart flutter; when you dreamed, you dreamed of me; your walk had theme music, and I had my dancin’ shoes on.

Ooh la la, and there was so much love to go around that night; so much love and feeling! And that’s what it’s all about. Come see us at Bossa in October, second Tuesday, 10/13, 7-9 PM, 2463 18th St. NW, DC.

On August 22nd, Jessica of the Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency facilitated a poetry workshop with Michael of the DC Poetry Project and their crew. The DC Poetry Project started making the GPI open mic their monthly meetup spot this year, and we are psyched to be collaborating with them.

The workshop was attended by ten people and featured individual and group writing exercises, then reciting and talking about our creations. We sat in the shade in Meridian Hill Park for a few hours, talked, wrote, and shared our thoughts on poetry and life. It was great!

Here are some of the group pieces that were created by an “elegant corpse” group writing exercise. That exercise is when you write two lines, fold the first one over so the next person can only see your second line, then pass it to the left and the next person writes two lines, folds over the first, passes the whole thing to the left, and so on. Some were pretty deep! Check it out:

Example 1:

Today the sky laughed at me
I gave it the middle finger
In my eternal angst by
Which my feelings lingered
Lingered like the bright white square of paint
Where her portrait once hung
While that wall may be repainted
My memory of her isn’t so easily undone
Her shadow fills the corners
Of my room when night falls
And the shadows succumb to my dreams
Or maybe not my dreams at all, but yours

Example 2:

A quiet planet sounds like an oasis just now
But I know from experience space is cold
The coldness never-ending
But I know I’ve felt summer’s sweltering gaze
The sun sees all of our daily rounds
While the moon whispers our secrets
Secrets we’ll never tell, stories of life
And laughter and hardly any pain
The friends gather beneath the ash trees
As the sun comes out again
Flickering, an indecisive source of life that orb
Mother of us all like a vast flickering breast
The Venus de Milo beckoned me
In a dream last night

Example 3:

The sky seemed a deep blue
That to me was all the more true
Because the marrow-generating cells in my bones
Repeated the truth, spoke it in mechanical rhythm
The truth, the truth, the truth, the truth
How often must it be repeated to become the truth?
Like an old TV jingle you can still sing
The stories of our innocence cling to us
No matter how hard we try to wipe them off
Or sometimes wash them away with wind red, delightful, delicious
Like an apple
Like a strawberry pie
Like a damsel’s red thigh
Like a baby’s soft cry

The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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For more info or to inquire about availability to perform:

(800) 886-6157

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