Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts is a "traveling poetry supershow" of spoken-word performers and musicians that started in San Francisco in 2008 and is finally making its debut in L.A. The series presents adventurous modern-day poets in bars and venues where the early Beat poets used to hang out, in the hopes that the lingering spirits of the elders will inspire their progeny's new work. Given its long history as a SoCal literary vortex, Beyond Baroque seems to be an ideal setting for "tapping the mystic voices and drumming the Beat haunts from their tombs in Los Angeles." This seventh edition of the series features the longtime local poet Ellyn Maybe, appearing with a band (!), and veteran wordsmith Michael C. Ford, whose "arsenal of commando language" blows apart every last standing irrational political pie-ball cowboy who continually threatens National Nirvana." Meanwhile, former Ringling Sister Iris Berry (Two Blocks East of Vine, pictured) leavens her tales of heroin misadventures and gangster boyfriends with a punk rock perspective and gallows humor. The show also includes Jim Bolt, Mike the Poet, Rachel Kann, Brenda Petrakos, Gary Justice, host Mani Suri and special guests known only as the Mystery Poets.
Fri., July 23, 7:30 p.m., 2010