The Dirty Gerund Poetry Show was established by Rushelle Frazier in the fall of 2008. She re-located to Savannah, Georgia a year later and passed on the reading to a bunch of guys who mean well. Alex Charalambides & Nicholas Earl Davis took on the room and made a few changes, adding dynamic, collaborative genres and establishing a variety show format where poetry is still the star!

Ralph’s Diner in Worcester, Massachusetts is a legendary rock club and favorite hangout spot / watering hole for local musicians and artists.

Spoken word / performance / slam poetry is an exciting, dynamic, diverse, energetic, engaging art form that’s blowing up around the world. Started in Chicago in the mid 80’s by Marc “so what!” Smith, as an excuse to have a fun evening of poetry in a bar, a trick to get people to listen to poetry by letting them score it olympic style. The idea has turned into a massive arts & social movement, spawning venues throughout the world, tournaments and networks. We’re bringing it back to the bars!

Worcester, Massachusetts will knock you down if you’re not paying attention! Tons of universities, but not a college town. Amazing arts scene, but you gotta look for it. Loads to do, but its hard to get there (just take a right at the dunks…) We call water fountains “bubblers” for crying out loud. From Abby Hoffman to Outlet Malls with no stores, this proud, hard-working city refuses to be defined and never does things the easy way. Most Worcesterites wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s lots of great poetry & spoken word to be found throughout the area. Passionate word-smiths are knocking down the doors of most people’s perception of what “poetry” is, connecting face to face, one show at a time! Check out the links page to find out more about great spoken word goings on!

THE DIRTY GERUND is proud to toss its hat into the cultural stew and offer the absolute best in local, regional and nationally touring performance poets. Cheap drinks, great GREAT burgers! plenty of leg room.

OPEN MIC – bring poems, edgy prose, classic covers, haiku, sonnets, rants, confessions, dirty limericks, lyrics, whatevah! all styles welcome! sign up and get 3-6 minutes to deliver your heart to a collection of drunk loud audience members who can’t think of anything better to do on a monday night…. heckle!!!! (not really).

FEATURED PERFORMER – this is the part of the evening where we behave (sorta) and welcome a featured guest reader fortwo 15 sets of their best work! The Dirty Gerund is proud to promote local stars as well as traveling poets who are troubadoring their way across america in search of connection, love, merch sales and couches to crash on! A REVOLVING CREW OF HOUSE BAND MUSICIANS ARE BRINGING THE JAMS EVERY MONDAY AND WILL BACK YOU UP ON THAT MIC!!!

NO COVER – but bring $$$$$$ – (Suggested Donation $2-$5) beer & burgers are reasonably priced! we do PASS THE HAT to help pay our incredible artists! bring extra cash because someone’s words might resonate with you and you may just want to buy a book or cd, not only to support them & their work, but you may need some of those words later in life. THERE IS AN ATM ON THE PREMISES (it’s next to the Galaga arcade machine).

POETRY CHALLENGES (aka BONUS RUCKUS) – Classic Poetry Slam Competitions are not a priority for the Gerund (there are lots of great spots in Worcester to slam at) but we’ll throw down on a some crazy ruckus like The “Iron Poet Challenge”, Game Quiz Shows, Stuffing things in your mouth challenges, Themed Writing Challenges, Improv, Rap Battles, etc. Prizes & bragging rights for the winners. We’ll drop a poll on this site from time to time to gauge interest in these competitions.

VIDEO RECAPS ON WEBSITE & YOUTUBE – we got our hands on a camera and are shooting. Every week, we post a highlight reel of some of the best, spontaneous DG moments! Be discovered! Share the show with friends who don’t live anywhere near here. Give them a reason to visit!

MUISCAL GUEST SPOTLIGHT MID-SHOW – we format the poetry into two halves of the night and break things up with a local touring or regional musical artist for a 15 minute set. Sometimes we get our dance on!

GUEST VISUAL ARTIST & ART AUCTION – Every week, we try to being in talented local painters to throw some color around on a canvas, hopefully inspired by the show itself, but creative and beautiful nonetheless. At the end of the evening, we throw down on an art auction for a lucky Gerunder to bid on a memorable keepsake! Check out our art gallery on this site. We may try to throw an exhibit down the road to show off this great stuff we get every week! We have house paints on the premises and are willing to procure canvases for painters who just want to bring their talents & brushes!

ANYTHING GOES? – well, keep your phones on silent & conversations REALLY (whisper) QUIET when a poet’s on stage! (There’s a whole front diner area & smoking patio for getting those sexy digits or drunkenly discussing Emily Dickinson’s influence on your own poetic prowess. THE STAGE IS A FREE SPEECH ZONE – but disclaimer, if you abuse that power behind our microphone to spew hateful, racist, sexist, biggoted shit, be prepared to be hissed at, called out on, or generally drowned out by chants of “YOU SUCK!!!” – just saying…


  1. Alex

    Last name seem familiar? Well yes I’m Simone’s father but Ralph’s is closer than the Cantab. Can I come and shoot photos?


    • dirtygerund Says:

      Hello Rich!
      Great to hear from you. You may absolutely come down any Monday & shoot photos.
      Glad you found us.
      Alex 🙂

  2. Ray DiTomasso Says:

    I am a man. I hope Rushell is doing great and it is great to see the ‘Gerund” is alive and well. I love competitions and I really want to show up and try myself. Keep me informed. Please.

    • dirtygerund Says:

      hey. thanks for the well wishes.
      if you want to friend me on facebook, I’d be glad to keep you up to date with invites to shows and status updates – just search Alex Charalambides on facebook and we’ll let you know when stuff’s happening.
      have a great new year

  3. Nick Noble Says:

    Please tell me that one or more of you just might be free on Thursday, February 3 to be a guest on my radio show, THE FOLK REVIVAL, WICN New England’s listener supported NPR Jazz and Folk Station at 90.5 FM in central MA and streaming live around the galaxy at wicn.org.

    Show is 7-11. Theme that night is FOLK POETRY. I’d love a couple of radio broadcast appropriate riffs from you guys, plus we’d talk about Dirty Gerund and slam poetry. Otherwise, I’ll be playing Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Shel Silverstein, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, and others.

    Please call me at 508-361-0988 or email me at nicknoble@wicn.org.


    Nick Noble

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