Royal Words Lounge Brings Poets to H St.

Posted May 5, 2004 at 3:17pm

Every other Thursday, H Street Northeast’s DC Sanctuary will transform from a gallery for emerging or underexposed visual artists to the Royal Words Poetry Lounge, a verbal expression of the same purpose.

The biweekly event is an open mic forum, allowing artists of all ages and experience to share their talents. Royal Words coordinator Afrika Midnight Asha Abney (aka Ashawarrior) feels the event will allow “all performing artists to share their work.” She encourages all artists to attend the Thursday show, to either perform or to attend.

“The first poetry lounge will be doing a tribute to mothers and I invite all poets, artists and authors to be apart of this event, where featured guest Alphonso Coles will be on stage, ” said Abney, a native Washingtonian, in anticipation of tonight’s event.

The DC Sanctuary, at 1335 H St. NE, was the perfect place for such an event to take place, since its byline reads, “for art collectors who want something a little different.”

Royal Words is one in a series of outlets for entertainment that have either recently opened or are opening soon in the H Street neighborhood. The Caribbean restaurant and gallery Phish Tea Café at 1335 H St. NE opened just last week. The R&B Café at 1359 H St. NE will open sometime this spring or summer and, as its name suggests, will offer rhythm and blues with your Saturday afternoon snack. The Vis-à-Vis Restaurant and Café is still under construction, but in sticking with the thesis of community involvement, any comments or suggestions are welcomed to the final blueprint before ground is broken sometime this summer.

Karina Ricks of the DC Office of Planning said the many new destinations on H Street are helping get the word out about the re-emerging corridor.

“What we really want is to make the rest of D.C. aware that H Street is another neighborhood with as much to offer as Capitol Hill and Adams Morgan,” Ricks said.