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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Poetry Audience
Audience for Claudia Rankine, June 2016 Reading © Reginald Harris

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Poets House's Fall/Winter 2017 Season

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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


Renee Gladman Prose Architectures
Featuring work from two of Renee Gladman’s drawings-for-books as well as larger discrete ink and gouache works for the wall
Exhibition on view through November 4, 2017

October at Poets House

Jerome Rothenberg Tuesday, October 3, 7:00pm
Technicians of the Sacred: 50th Anniversary
Join editor Jerome Rothenberg along with Stuart Cooke, Bob Holman, George Quasha, Ariel Resnikoff, Papa Susso, Cecilia Vicuña, and Anne Waldman to celebrate the new, 50th anniversary edition of one of poetry’s germinal texts.

Patrick Rosal Wednesday, October 4 - Friday, October 6, 5:00-7:00pm; Saturday, October 7 2:00-3:30pm & 4:00-6:00pm; Sunday, October 8, 5:00-7:00pm
A Convocation: Patrick Rosal at Prismatic Park

Patrick Rosal will be reading and performing from his most recent poetry collection, Brooklyn Antediluvian, as well as works-in-progress in this series of literary readings and performances that will explore the intersection of African American and Filipino American history.
Location: Prismatic Park at Madison Square Park, Between Fifth & Madison Avenues between 23rd and 26th Streets, New York NY

Cheryl Clarke Thursday, October 19, 7:00pm
Passwords: Cheryl Clarke on Gwendolyn Brooks
Poet and essayist Cheryl Clarke discusses the poetics and politics of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Sina Queyras Tuesday, October 24, 7:00pm
Passwords: Sina Queyras on Sylvia Plath
Lambda Literary Award winner Sina Queyras guides audiences in a fresh look at one of poetry’s most influential figures.

Spooky house with bats Saturday, October 28, 12:00-3:00pm
Children's Program: All Hallow's Eve at Poets House!
Join us for crafts, snacks, and activities celebrating all things spooky and spirited! Wear your costumes!

November at Poets House

 Sunday, November 5, 4:00pm
Iowa International Writing Program 50th Anniversary Reading
Ubah Cristina Ali Farah (Somalia/Italy), Maung Day (Myanmar), Vladimir Martinovski (Macedonia), Amanda Lee Koe (Singapore), and Natasha Tiniacos (Venezuela), join IWP in celebrating its 50th year in an evening of readings and conversation about poetry around the globe.

Joanne Kyger Monday, November 6, 8:00pm
Tribute to Joanne Kyger

Poets Ammiel Alcalay, Micah Ballard, Edmund Berrigan, Anselm Berrigan, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Norma Cole, Lisa Jarnot, Hettie Jones, Vincent Katz, Filip Marinovich, Tenaya Nasser-Frederick, Ed Sanders, Cedar Sigo, Jared Stanley, Kendra Sullivan, Stacy Szymaszek, Lewis Warsh, and Joey Yearous-Algozin celebrate Joanne Kyger’s lasting influence.
Location: The Poetry Project, St Mark's Church, 131 E 19th Street, New York NY

Cedar Sigo Tuesday, November 7, 7:00pm
Cedar Sigo on Joanne Kyger
Poet and editor Cedar Sigo pays tribute to his former Naropa Institute mentor.

 Anna Moschovakis Thursday, November 9, 7:00pm
Borrowed Confessions: Julie Carr, Mónica de la Torre and Anna Moschovakis
Julie Carr, Mónica de la Torre, and Anna Moschovakis discuss intimacy, feminism, and the act of confession in epistolary poetry.

James Tolan Saturday, November 11, 4:00pm
The Wind Will Undo Us: A Tribute to James Tolan
Poets Jennifer Michael Hecht, Owen Lewis, Fran Quinn, Jason Schneiderman, Cecilia Woloch, and friends to honor the work of a beloved member of the Poets House community and long-time professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Gwendolyn Brooks Monday, November 13, 7:30pm
A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

Poets Elizabeth Alexander, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Marilyn Nelson, Atsuro Riley, Sapphire, Solmaz Sharif, and Patricia Smith celebrate the centenary of Gwendolyn Brooks - part of a year-long, nationwide tribute to one of America’s most influential poets.
Location: 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave New York NY

 Thursday, November 16, 6:00-8:00pm
Opening Reception for 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.

Monica Youn Saturday, November 18, 3:00pm
Five Sonnets: 30th Anniversary Event with Monica Youn
National Book Award finalist Monica Youn discusses the history of poetry through the lens of the sonnet.

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

sam sax

The Linked Sequence with sam sax

The linked sequence is a popular staple inside many contemporary poetry collections—often borrowing as much from the essay form as from either the epic or lyric tradition. In this class, we’ll explore the history of...

October 10, 2017 - 6:00PM to 8:30PM

Sina Queyras

Passwords: Sina Queyras on Sylvia Plath

Despite the brevity of her life, Sylvia Plath forever changed the world of American letters, both as poet and as cultural icon. Lambda Literary Award winner Sina Queyras guides audiences in a fresh...

October 24, 2017 - 7:00PM

Sharon Dolin

New Forms, New Tricks with Sharon Dolin

"Craft is a trick you make up to let you write the poem," Anne Sexton wrote. In this workshop, poets try their hands at new forms—from the gigan to the golden shovel—to trick themselves out of poetic ruts and see...

October 11, 2017 - 6:00PM to 8:30PM

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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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  • Tue Oct 24

    Despite the brevity of her life, Sylvia Plath forever changed the world of American letters, both as poet...

    Fri Oct 27

    Come celebrate the publication of Duriel E Harris' book No Dictionary of a Living...

    Sat Oct 28

    Join us for crafts, snacks, and activities celebrating all things spooky and spirited! Wear your costumes...

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