Friends and poets gather to remember Kurt Brown (1944–2013), prolific poet, editor, founder of the Aspen Writers’ Conference, former Poets House board member, and beloved teacher. Award-winning author of seven full-length poetry collections, including, most recently, A Thousand Kim and Time-Bound, as well as chapbooks, translations, and a memoir, Brown was a tireless advocate for poetry, editing and co-editing numerous journals and anthologies.
Gwendolyn Brooks’ poems distill the best aspects of Modernist style with the sounds and shapes of various African-American forms and idioms. This talk celebrates her career as an example of art evolving in response to the dramatic historical, political, and aesthetic challenges a writer encounters.
Chris Raschka, award-winning author and artist, will prove to us that he can draw just about anything. He’ll lead an illustration demonstration and workshop and will also perform some of the poems he’s written over the years.
From December 8th-11th, at least 15% of proceeds from all books purchased at Barnes & Noble at Astor Place will be donated to Poets House. So, take care of all of your holiday shopping and do a great deed for poetry by joining us at our free Holiday Benefit Reading and ushering in 4 days of commerce-for-verse.
With Bill Berkson, Anselm Berrigan, Olivier Brossard, Greg Fuchs, John Gruen, Bob Holman, Patricia Spears Jones, Kimberly Lyons, Taylor Mead, Scott Murphree, Eileen Myles, Maureen O'Hara, Ned Rorem, David Shapiro, Lytle Shaw, Tony Towle, Anne Waldman & John Yau
Frank O'Hara worked at The Museum of Modern Art on and off for fifteen years—first selling postcards, then curating exhibitions and writing catalogue copy, all the while composing poems during his lunch hour. This program will feature friends and colleagues from his MoMA heyday sharing their favorite anecdotes. Selected archival material including correspondence, handwritten notes, and installation photographs—as well as exhibition catalogues—will be on view in the Library and Archives' new Reading Rooms.
Even the simplest things of the earth can open up whole worlds in the imagination: a pebble or a stone. We will enter these new worlds, and moving from their silences to their ancient and glowing stars, we will gather new enchantments and use them to write our poems. When we have finished we will make a small clay vessel for our discoveries.