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Poetry Readers, Poetry, Library, Poetry  NYC
Poetry Reader, Poetry NYC

Is there a charge for using the library?

No. Poets House is free and open to all 5 days a week.

Do I have to be a member to use the library?

No, but we do encourage membership for additional benefits and to help support the work that Poet House does.

Can I take books out of the library?

No, but you may spend as much time with the book(s) of your choosing for as long as you like during our open hours.

Are you affiliated with the New York Public Library?

No. Poets House is a private, not-for-profit organization not affiliated with the library system. However, we do consider ourselves partners with the NYPL and public libraries across the nation. We do many collaborative initiatives and projects with them, most notably Poetry In The Branches.

Why is there no apostrophe on Poets in the name Poets House?

According to co-founder poet Stanley Kunitz, “some things must never be possessed but shared.”

Do you publish poetry?

No, but we can direct you to some information about paths to poetry publishing for poetry publishers.

Can I hold my book party/wedding/fashion show at Poets House? How much does it cost to hold an event at Poets House?

Yes, see Space Rentals.

Can I do a reading at Poets House?

Do you have programs for teenagers?

We do class visits for all ages, as well as workshops for teens. We work with teachers to present poetry in dynamic ways and to do creative writing exercises with students of all ages using our collection.

How did you get this building?

In 2004, when Poets House was actively searching for a permanent site so that it could adequately accommodate its rapidly expanding library, programs, events and outreach, its longtime partner, Battery Park City Authority, invited Poets House to submit a proposal for designation as a long-term non-profit tenant in a new green building. Poets House was selected as one of three rent-free non-profits in an 11,000-square-foot space at 10 River Terrace. Starting in 2005, Poets House embarked on a Capital Campaign to finance building the space and in 2009 achieved its goal.

Where does your funding come from?

Poets House is funded by a diverse range of sources, including membership, individuals, private foundations, corporations, and local, state and federal agencies. Poets House also earns modest but critical income through the classes and workshops we hold, as well as space rentals to organizations for poetry-related events. Our two annual benefit events help us to sustain our operations and help us to keep our doors open to everyone.

Does Poets House hold open mics?

Poets House does not hold Open Mic events as part of its regular schedule. Here are a few suggestions of other venues to contact.

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
(212) 989-9319
Price: Varies

Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia St. (between Bleecker & W. 4th St.)
(212) 989-9319
(Holds open mics infrequently)

The Gallery at LPR [(le) Poisson Rouge]
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan & Thompson St.)
(212) 505-3474
Every third Friday of the month, 7:00pm
Price: $7 in advance, $10 at the door

The Inspired Word
Various locations and times; visit website for details
Multiple events every week
(917) 708-1512
Price: Usually $5-$15

85 E. 4th St. (between Second & Third Ave.)
(347) 441-4481
Mondays at 7:00pm
Price: None listed

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East Third Street
(212) 505-8183
Various times; visit website for details
Price: $13

Open Mic Downstairs
Under St. Mark's Theater
94 St. Mark's Place
(212) 777-6088
Tuesdays at 9:00pm
Price: $3 cover charge

Pete’s Candy Store
709 Lorimer St. (between Frost & Richardson St.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 302-3770
Sundays 5:00—8:30pm, Must be 21

Rocky Sullivan’s
Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mic
34 Van Dyke St. (Dwight St.)
Red Hook, Brooklyn
(718) 246-8050
Last Wednesday of the Month at 7:00pm

SideWalk Open Stage
The Sidewalk Café
94 Avenue A (at E. 6th Street)
(212) 473-7373
Mondays at 7:00pm
Price: No cover, "two something" minimum

Union Square Slam
Bar Thirteen
35 E.13th Street (between Broadway & University Place)
21 and over $5
(212) 979-6677
Every Monday night (6pm free workshop, 7:15pm open mic and slam sign up)

Curious about Poetry Slams? Listen to Mahogany Browne, Taylor Mali, James Merenda, and Jeanann Verlee, representatives from three of New York City’s most prominent poetry slam series, discuss and demonstrate Slam in this program from 2012.

(Updated July 2016)

What are some other poetry organizations in New York?

A list of Literary Organizations across New York City and State can be found here on the New York State Council for the Arts website

The Benefits of Membership

Members receive free admission to all our programs and a variety of other special benefits and perks.

Become a member »