A Note from the Poets House Executive Director

Marie Howe, Lee Briccetti, Poets, Poetry NYC

I recently met a visitor to the library who told me that he comes each season to pull books he doesn’t know from the stacks, spending a full day in the sheer pleasure of making new discoveries. Our culture and our city need places like Poets House to nurture interiority and engagement with language, places where we can meet each other and extend our thinking.

The collection — 60,000 items, including books, journals and multimedia — is a repository of "the basic craft of language." A place alive with the experiments and rigors by which language lives. This remarkable cultural experiment is open to everyone.

Poets House programs, conversations and exhibitions are built on engagement with the wide reach of the art. This April, we present A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman, the first major retrospective of Schneeman’s collaborative projects spanning 40 years of friendship with poets―“surefire revelation” in the words of Ron Padgett, opening new discussion about the relationship between writing and the visual arts.

Also this spring, , cosponsored with City Lore, comes home to New York City with events at the Queens Public Library and Poets House. The touring national initiative of programs (and much more) simultaneously convenes a partnership with the Detroit Public Library as well as collaboration with the Islamic Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 11. At the museum, poeties of the Muslim World will be presented as text, song and incantory performance, set in the context of the museum’s ravishing galleries.

These offerings, and the others you’ll discover here, are part of an ethos of exchange that celebrates poetry as one of humanity's great and enduring artistic legacies. Thank you for participating in the ongoing creation of Poets House, a meeting place with an open spirit we hope you will continue to call home.

—Lee Briccetti, Executive Director

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I recently rediscovered Hayden Carruth's essays and poems in the library. Although I lived down the street from him growing up, it is the sanity of his voice as experienced in the poems and essays that makes him real to me now. Isn't this a wonderful line?: "...the basic craft of language without which sensibility is helpless."

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Read Previous Letters here:

Fall 2013
Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Spring 2012