A Note from the Poets House Executive Director (Fall 2012)

Ward Smith, Lee Briccetti, Wendy Larsen, Poets House, Poetry NYC

Over the past 25 years, Poets House has become one of the most inventive places for poetry and imagination in the nation. The personal and collective action of thousands of people have made Poets House a vibrant center for art making, conversation and learning. Thank you for being part of this ongoing cultural experiment.

Poets House serves poetry by inviting everyone to find something in the wide tradition of the art that speaks directly to them. There are many points of entry and all that we do supports a dynamic investigation of what language makes possible.

Now, at 10 River Terrace, so much more is possible in terms of our “invitation” and service. Approximately 65,000 people crossed the threshold of our new home last year to attend our programs, to use our 50,000-volume poetry collection, or to experience poetry with their children in a room dedicated specifically to families. Millions more have enjoyed poetry online on our brand new website or throughout permanent installations at zoos around the country.

We have heard from many of you that last year’s onsite series that charted the history of poetry sequentially, all year-long—from Gilgamesh to the Beats—was one of your favorites. This year, too, will be energetic and alive with new experiments, classes and great programs, culminating in a conversation between poet Robert Hass and the great scientist and thinker E.O. Wilson about poetry, the evolution of consciousness and our impacts on the natural world.

Meanwhile, as we conclude our 25th Anniversary celebrations, two jewel-like exhibitions about the circles of friendships around our co-founders, poet Stanley Kunitz and administrator Elizabeth Kray, emphasize the circles of conversations that led to Poets House’s founding. These conversations continue today as we build the warmth and acuity of this house of affections.

Read Previous Letters here:
Spring 2012