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Special Events / Benefits
Join the Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Join hundreds of poetry lovers who gather each year to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping along the way to hear poems that celebrate the City of New York read by great poets. For two decades, every June, the Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge has helped guests revel in the words of poetry legends Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, Hart Crane and other writers who celebrate New York City and the Brooklyn Bridge—one of the City's architectural gems—in their work.
The walk concludes in Brooklyn at sunset with a reading of Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and is followed by a celebratory dinner and more readings. We are often treated to an appearance and additional reading by actor and longtime Poets House supporter Bill Murray. The Poetry Walk was inspired by our co-founder Elizabeth Kray, who, many years ago, chartered a ferry to celebrate the Brooklyn Bridge with Galway Kinnell reading “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” Many years later, Poets House developed the idea into a walk and fundraiser.
Poets House benefits are a way to intimately experience great poetry and food with once-in-a-lifetime performances. Each year’s benefit is different, but always takes place around exquisite food and wine. It is an opportunity to gather with other poetry lovers in a unique environment created just for the occasion.
At 2016's Make a Sudden Leap, a Leap Day Evening celebration of the art of fine dining and timeless poetry with poets Cornelius Eady, Eliza Griswold, Daniel Halpern, Mary Karr, Vijay Seshadri, and Monica Youn; wine pairings by celebrated importer Neal Rosenthal; and a meal designed by Chef Eric Korsh at North End Grill.
In 2015, Poets House presented: Friends, Poets, Gastrolaters!, an evening of friendship-in-poetry celebrating the sumptuous art of fine dining with poets Frank Bidart, Eleanor Chai, Daniel Halpern, Sharon Olds, former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young; wine pairings by celebrated importer Neal Rosenthal; and a meal designed by Chef Eric Korsh at Danny Meyer's lauded North End Grill.
2014's "Dionysian Feast to Benefit Poets House," Wild nights! Wild nights!, began at Poets House with bubbly toasts before walking over to Danny Meyer’s award-winning North End Grill for Chef Floyd Cardoz's ecstatic three-course dinner, wine pairings by importer Neal Rosenthal, and readings by leading poets Anne Carson and her partner Robert Currie, Eileen Myles and Kevin Young.
At 2013's benefit, The Poetic Table, esteemed wine importer Neal Rosenthal provided elegant pairings, while poets Daniel Halpern, Sharon Olds, Charles Simic, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Anne Waldman tantalized the imagination over an intimate three-course meal at Danny Meyer's award-winning North End Grill. Kevin Young served as host of this gastronomic feast for poets and friends.
In 2012, guests enjoyed an intimate Shakespeare-inspired dinner featuring readings from the Bard's works by actors Bill Murray and poets Sapphire and Susan Stewart and a sumptuous meal by Danny Meyer's Union Square Events, with wines courtesy of Neal Rosenthal of Rosenthal Wine Merchants.
The 2011 Fall Benefit was held at the Bouley Test Kitchen, featuring the unsurpassed cuisine of David Bouley.
Poets House Members’ Sleepover
Have you ever imagined staying over in your favorite library after the lights go out and the doors are closed to the public? Now you can, but without getting in trouble and with the added knowledge that you’re supporting that library’s work!
The Poets House’s Members’ Sleepover, held for the first time in 2011, is an unforgettable overnight experience of dreaming, reading and writing "poetry of the night." If you’re not a member already, become one now, and join us after hours for poetry, discussion, and sleeping among the books of your favorite poets in our darkened stacks.