"poetry can change the world"

Bob Holman thinks so, and it seems like his Bowery Poetry Club may have a good chance to do just that. It looks and sounds wonderful, but the genie himself may be what makes the difference.

This is the poet, a former cabdriver and temporary worker, who used to call himself Plain White Rapper. For a few years, he ran a spoken-word record label, Mouth Almighty.
Last month he opened this, er, club.
"I run a coffee shop and bar so you can have poetry every night," he said. "Somehow, you have to pay for your addiction. They say no one has ever gone broke running a bar in New York, but we're going to give it a shot."

Taylor Mead, Butch Morris, Amiri Baraka, teen poetry slams, karaoke poetry, Norman Ohler, Ned Rothenberg and Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement, are among the starters this month.

The club shares the building with the intriguing, DV Dojo, "a boot camp for digital filmmakers," in Holman's description. Last night we also noticed it's just across the street from the 313 Gallery of CBGB, where we had stopped for the opening of the provocative and still largely illegal work in the exhibition, Illegal Art, especially to see Eric Doeringer's installation.

It all seems more than fitting, if not world-changing.