Reading Room & Library © Poets House

Welcome to Poets House!

The national library and literary center where everyone can find something in the wide and varied tradition of poetry that speaks directly to them.
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Poetic Voices of the Muslim World panel
Poetic Voices, Queens Library © Michael Lum/RAA

Poetry at Large

Learn about Poetry in Zoos, Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, and other Poets House national initiatives.

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Child with magnetic poetry
C L Hays Children’s Room © Tony Gale

Children's Room

A creative space filled with children's poetry books, typewriters, and a card catalog filled with poetic objects to trigger young imaginations.

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A Place for Poetry – Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.

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In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

"The artistic legacy of a nation also represents its riches—riches that everyone can have. Especially in a polyglot nation like ours, the existence of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) emphasizes the value of the individual interior life and exchange about our experiences in community." Why the NEA Matters, A Letter from Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti...



Poetry can repair no loss, but it defies the space that separates. And it does this by its continual labor of reassembling what has been scattered. – John Berger



Poetry offers a way to shape – and share – thinking and feeling, bridging our separations. It offers a wellspring of care, caring for language, from the deepest part of our shared humanity. Poets House creates a place for poetry; for focus, for witness. A space for civic discourse, welcoming and democratic. -Lee Briccetti, Executive Director


In the News


January and February at Poets House

Thursday, January 18
Location: Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (between 91st & 92nd street), New York NY
A Celebration of Derek Walcott

Saturday, January 20
A Celebration of James Wright: A Life in Poetry

Saturday, February 10
A Celebration of Fernando Pessoa

Tuesday, February 13
Location: CUNY Graduate Center Elebash Recital Hall 365 Fifth Avenue NY, NY
Tribute to Thomas Lux

Saturday, February 24
Writing & Teaching in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from June Jordan

Exhibition

30 Years! A Narrative in 30 Objects
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Poets House, 30 Years! A Narrative in 30 Objects mines the Poets House archives for objects of resonance, including handwritten correspondence between E. E. Cummings and Elizabeth Kray; typescripts from Stanley Kunitz and Galway Kinnell; paintings, photographs, journals, and recordings; and much more.
Exhibition on view through May 12, 2018








John Ashbery (1927-2017)

John Ashbery
Poets House marks the passing of John Ashbery—on September 3, 2017 at age 90—one of the most celebrated figures in American poetry of the last half century. Author of nearly 30 collections of poetry, several books of essays, and numerous translations, Ashbery received every conceivable recognition (from Pulitzer Prize to a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship) for his literary output. He is the first living poet to have his work collected by the Library of America, which has issued two volumes of his work. John Ashbery appeared before an overflow crowd at Poets House on July 12, 2012, reading from his collection Quick Question - Listen to the full recording here. He also participated in a program dedicated to poet Frank O’Hara, his dear friend, which Poets House organized with the Museum of Modern Art on November 30, 2006. Click here to listen to Ann Lauterbach’s Passwords program on John Ashbery, delivered on March 29, 2005 at Poets House, which provides a wonderful window into Ashbery’s wry and ingenious poetry.

To celebrate Ashbery’s extraordinary legacy, Library of America (publishers of John Ashbery: Collected Poems 1956–1987, and Collected Poems 1991–2000) reached out to a number of his fellow writers for their thoughts on the man and his work. Click here to read their responses.


"5x5" from the Poets House Showcase



On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Poets House Showcase, Poets House is pleased to co-sponsor with Verse a series of curated book selections from the exhibit by prominent poets. An exciting annual exhibition, the Showcase gathers poetry books and press ephemera from the past year, boasting over 3,600 titles from 750 publishers. We are pleased offer a "5X5"—5 book recommendations each from poets Lynn Melnick, Paolo Javier, Kyle Dacuyan, sam sax, and aziza barnes — in celebration of the twenty-fifth Annual Showcase and the breadth of contemporary poetry it encompasses. Click here to read "5x5"





“...the perfect place to open little minds to the wonderful world of poetry...”

Parenting website Mommy Nearest declares Poets House a “Must Do in Battery Park City”! Click the link to read more.

Download the Fall 2017 Program Calendar (PDF)





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What's Happening

What's Happening

Sarah Blake

Raising the Stakes -- Maximizing Rhetorical Devices in Poetry with Sarah Blake

In workshops, we sometimes talk about how a poem needs to raise its stakes, but what does that mean? Stakes can be as simple as what's literally at stake for a speaker in the poem's story—maybe their marriage or even...

January 27, 2018 - 12:00PM to 4:00PM

Nathalie Handal

Love and Other Poems: A One-Day Workshop with Nathalie Handal

In this workshop, we will explore love, and its lyrical parts—lustful and passionate, sexual and erotic, romantic and religious, spiritual and sinful—through writing exercises inspired by love poems written by poets...

February 10, 2018 - 11:30AM to 2:00PM

The Book of Disquiet book cover

A Celebration of Fernando Pessoa

Join poets Patricio Ferrari, John Keene, Vijay Seshadri, and Mónica de la Torre for a re-examination of Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), the seminal...

February 10, 2018 - 3:00PM

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Poets House at a Glance

Poets House at a Glance

A home for poets, a place for poets, Poets House library for poetry “…Poets House, that hybrid of library, study hall and exhibition space, floating like a utopian mirage over the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan…”—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

Our Mission

A Home for All Who Read and Write Poetry

Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Our poetry resources and literary events document the wealth and diversity of poetry and stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture. We seek to document the wealth and diversity of poetry and to cultivate a wider audience for the art.

LEED certified green building houses comprehensive Poetry Library and poetry collection

Our Space

A Place for Poetry

Opened to the public in September 2009, the new home for Poets House is LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The 11,000-square-foot space designed by architect Louise Braverman is more than double the size of our former home in SoHo.

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SUPPORT POETS HOUSE

Members and donors make our work possible. Your generosity sustains the library and ensures that our vibrant public programming and outreach continues to thrive.

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  • Sat Feb 10

    Join poets Patricio Ferrari, John Keene, Vijay Seshadri...

    Tue Feb 13

    This tribute reading honors Thomas Lux (1946-2017), beloved poet, mentor, teacher and friend to so many...

    Sat Feb 17

    In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Poets House presents Albert Lamorisse’s timeless children’s film ...

    Visit NYC poetry library, poetry collection in new york, american poets Free and open to the public

    Hours

    Library & Reading Room
    Tues–Fri, 11:00am–7:00pm
    Sat, 11:00 am–6:00pm

    Children’s Room
    Thur–Sat, 11:00–5:00pm


    Map, Directions & Parking Information