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Spoken word is strong at 'The Muse Exchange'

The Velvet Lounge, 10 Woods Corner Rd., East

The Velvet Lounge, 10 Woods Corner Rd., East Setauket. Credit: Ian J. Stark, 2013

When it comes to the arts, Long Island has no shortage of concerts, galleries and other opportunities offering chances to see and hear the work of creative minds -- but in the case of live, local poetry, prospects for performances are much rarer. Of  the venues that do provide stage space for spoken word, there are difficulties with  scheduling and unenthusiastic audiences  that can dampen the passion of the poet and the devotees.

However, for those among  -- whether assured bards, beginners or somewhere in-between -- us who wish for a well-established night to either recite or hear poetry, the Velvet Lounge in East Setauket has an event worthy of consideration.

Known as The Muse Exchange,  the gathering has shown great stability and hosted supportive crowds. Recently celebrating its first anniversary (on Jan. 9), the event is an open mic night that takes place biweekly on Thursdays (the next event is Jan. 23), with sign-ups beginning at 7 p.m. All poetic participants get a five-minute limit, with featured performers working between the contributors. There are both 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. rounds, each of which has 10 slots.

In addition, DJ Kaution -- one of the Lounge’s resident mixers -- will be on hand to follow with the spot’s weekly Ladies Night, and there are also drink specials and food.

For more information, check out The Muse Exchange online at and, and Velvet Lounge at and

Velvet Lounge: 10 Woods Corner Rd., East Setauket, 631-751-7575

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