E. E. Cummings accomplished the rarest of balancing acts: He managed to be both a deeply committed experimentalist and a very popular poet. How does a writer manage to be an innovator, pushing the boundaries of poetic form and content and still connect so powerfully with readers with his serious play? We'll look at the range of Cummings' achievement—his memorable and sensuous love poems, his fierce political satires, his compassionate anatomies of the human situation.
The greatest iconoclasts don't set out to. Take Emily Dickinson. She just couldn't do some things as others did them. She couldn't seem to manage to get saved despite great pressure from revival-happy Amherst; she couldn't bend her talent to write poems in any way that her time could accept as poems; she couldn't want fame if it meant publishing; she couldn't trade the intensity of her own mind for the busyness beyond her gate.
Through an innovative collaboration between Poets House and New York Waterway, Poets House staff members will be distributing artfully-designed, pocket-sized poems to hundreds of ferry passengers as they disembark in Battery Park City (across from Poets House's future home) on April 17th. As a part of the first nationwide celebration of Poem-in-Your-Pocket-Day, commuters, tourists and day-trippers will be welcomed to the shores of Manhattan with inspiring lines that they can carry with them throughout their day.
Edward Hirsch and Marie Howe read from and discuss their highly-anticipated new collections. Joining them at the podium will be Eugene Schlanger, author of September 11: Wall Street Sonnets and Other New York City Poems
The only event of its kind, the annual Poets House Showcase is a free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year—with more than 2,000 titles on view from over 500 commercial, university and independent presses. Thanks to the generosity of the New York Public Library, this year’s Showcase will take place at the historic Jefferson Market Library, a nineteenth-century landmark that has played host to Stephen Crane, E. E. Cummings and Marianne Moore.
On the occasion of George Oppen's centennial and the publication of his Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers, poets and scholars gather to honor the life and work of this spare, powerful and original poet.
Who were the Beat Poets? Why are they ""beat"" and what does that mean? A look at their work, and the decades of the fifties and sixties in which they wrote, will explain why they remain iconic figures in American poetry. Their writing was shocking to some yet celebrated by others. Contemporary reaction to their poems was vociferous and divided. Today they continue to be notorious, though there is growing interest in their lively, noisy, exciting work. The Beat goes on!
Nancy Willard, winner of the Newberry Award for A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers, will introduce us to the unforgettable characters she created and encourage the whole group to compose a collaborative poem under her direction.