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, 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 November 16, 2017-January 20, 2018.

A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

Acclaimed 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, whose career offers an example of an artist always responsive to the dramatic historical, political, and aesthetic changes and challenges of her time.

The Wind Will Undo Us: A Tribute to James Tolan

Join poets Jennifer Michael Hecht, Owen Lewis, Fran Quinn, Jason Schneiderman, Cecilia Woloch, and friends to honor the work of James Tolan (1964–2017), a beloved member of the Poets House community and long-time professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College. We gather to celebrate Jim’s artistry, wisdom, and grit on the occasion of the release of his posthumous collection of poetry, Filched.

Borrowed Confessions: Julie Carr, Mónica de la Torre and Anna Moschovakis

“What is it I’m turning toward in turning toward you?” Julie Carr, Mónica de la Torre, and Anna Moschovakis discuss intimacy, feminism, and the act of confession in epistolary poetry from Lorine Niedecker, Jack Spicer, Bernadette Mayer, Mark McMorris, and others. Audience members will be invited to write “letters” as a form of response to the panelists and then to read them aloud, initiating dialogue.

Passwords: Cedar Sigo on Joanne Kyger

Poet Cedar Sigo presents a new book he edited: There You Are: Interviews, Journals, and Ephemera, a collection of 40 years of interviews, letters, poems, and journals from the remarkable poet Joanne Kyger. He'll pay tribute to his mentor and friend, while also sharing photos and images from Kyger's archive.

There will also be a showing of Kyger's 1968 video, "Descartes," shown courtesy of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

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 and pay tribute to one of the great voices in American poetry.

Iowa International Writing Program 50th Anniversary Reading

Poets House invites audiences to journey around the world with the International Writing Program (IWP), the nation’s unique conduit for the world’s literatures. Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, (Somalia/Italy), Maung Day, (Myanmar), and Vladimir Martinovski, (Macedonia), together with alumnae Anne Kennedy (New Zealand) and Natasha Tiniacos, (Venezuela), join IWP in celebrating its 50th year in an evening of readings and conversation about poetry around the globe.

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. Reading from Brooks’ early and late poetry, Clarke examines Brooks’ contributions to a radical black practice of poetry and her representations of the black working class in A Street in Bronzeville and The Near-Johannesburg Boy.

Presented as a part of Our Miss Brooks 100

Technicians of the Sacred: 50th Anniversary

First published in 1968, Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania is one of poetry’s germinal texts, educating generations of writers and readers to the multiple possibilities for poetry throughout the world. Fifty years later, Technicians of the Sacred still delights readers with its ability to excite discovery and expand the notion of the genre.

A Doll for Throwing: When The Self is not The Self

Mary Jo Bang will discuss her new book A Doll for Throwing, for which she invented a ventriloquized persona that incorporates historical figures from the Bauhaus movement (among them, Lucia Moholy and László Moholy-Nagy), personal interiority, biography, and sheer invention. She will also describe her use of artworks and other material as the basis for imagined stage sets, from which speakers address aspects of the world from which they were drawn and urgent issues of the present.

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