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In the Spotlight

Our Spring 2018 Season

Poets House, the nation’s poetry library celebrates three decades as a home for poetry, offering programs featuring some of the world’s premier poets—Pulitzer Prize winners, Poet Laureates, emerging talents, and leading voices from diverse cultures around the globe.

Our 30th Anniversary programs include: close readings of 30 seminal poems by a diverse roster of innovative poets (six poets x five poems each = 30 poems). Rigoberto González, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Poetry, considers five poems that explore the city—as the symbol of order and chaos, progress and decay, community and overcrowding on March 24. Poet, organizer and critic Erica Hunt considers how five poems frame time: tense, tempo, slippage, archive, and prophecy on April 14. Carl Phillips, author of over a dozen books of poetry and winner of many awards, discusses how pattern makes meaning in five poems on April 21. MacArthur Award winner Edward Hirsch considers how five 19th- and 20th-century poets treat luminous moments and visionary experiences on May 12.

We also present our exhibition 30 Years! A Narrative in 30 Objects, displaying rare books, papers, photographs and artwork that reveal the network of poetic and artistic alliances that built Poets House, including handwritten correspondence between E.E. Cummings and Elizabeth Kray, typescripts from Stanley Kunitz and Galway Kinnell, and much more. On view through May 12, 2018.

Other highlights of the season include:

  • A celebration of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (with poets Patricio Ferrari, John Keene, Mónica de la Torre and Pulitzer Prize winner Vijay Seshadri) on February 10.

  • A tribute to the late poet Thomas Lux (with former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, bestselling memoirist and poet Mary Karr, actress Amber Tamblyn and others) at the CUNY Graduate Center on February 13.

  • Writing and Teaching in A Time of Crisis: Lessons from June Jordan, a dynamic discussion that brings together poetry, social justice and the classroom, featuring Poetry Slam Champ Aja Monet and award-winning poets Joshua Bennett, Suzanne Gardinier, and Donna Masini on Februrary 24.

  • Graduates of Poets House’s Emerging Poets Fellowship (Chia-Lun Chang, Alex Cuff, Rico Frederick, Ricardo Hernandez, Cynthia Manick & Adeeba Talukder), as well as award-winning poet and Queens College professor Kimiko Hahn present writing that makes connections between embodied experience, identity and poetry on March 3 and March 22, respectively. Offered as part of Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body, an initiative of the Poetry Coalition, a national poetry coalition to working to promote the value poets bring to our culture.

  • A reading at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by poets Amanda Calderon and Michael Leong in response to The Met’s exhibition Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art, featuring artwork from the 18th century to the present inspired by the Diamond Mountains of North Korea, on March 23.

  • A reading from the acclaimed annual anthology series Best American Poetry by some of its editors—National Book Award winners Mark Doty and Terrance Hayes and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey—celebrating three decades of publication on April 3.

  • The Archive as Resistance, a craft talk with Cynthia Cruz, on April 10 and a craft talk about the sonnet with National Book Award winner Shane McCrae on April 24.

  • A special talk about feminist, activist poet Audre Lorde with National Book Award Finalist and Lambda Literary Award winner Danez Smith on April 13.

  • Ryszard Krynicki, born in a Nazi labor camp and now one of Poland’s foremost poets, reads from newly released books and discusses his work with fellow poets and translators Clare Cavanagh, Edward Hirsch and Alissa Valles on April 17.

  • A collaborative program with the High Line featuring the poetry of Tommy Pico on April 21.

  • Poem in Your Pocket Day, presented with the Office of the Mayor in partnership with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Education, showcasing talented K-12 student poets across the five boroughs who have explored and written about invention—how the world works and grows through creativity—with a community reading, among other events, on April 26. Free admission.

  • Lullabies and Laments, a performance in English and Tamil with Grammy Award nominee Sikkil C. Gurucharan and scholar and translator Archana Venkatesan on May 8.

  • Our exhibition The Little Magazine celebrates small press magazines associated with Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Mimeograph Revolution, Conceptual Art, Language Writing, and New Narrative, as well as feminist, queer, and other contemporary communities. Opening May 15 and on view through September 8. Free admission.

  • A 100th birthday reading for National Book Award nominee Naomi Replansky—praised by such figures as former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine as a “warrior for social justice”—on May 23.

  • Actor and poetry lover Bill Murray joins Poets House once again for the 23rd Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge, Poets House’s annual poetic pilgrimage across the East River by way of the historic Brooklyn Bridge led by Tyehimba Jess, winner of the 2017 Pulitizer Prize, and other celebrated poets on June 11.

  • The 26th Annual Poets House Showcase, a free exhibit featuring over 3,000 books of poetry published by over 700 presses, opens with a reading and reception on June 28. The exhibition is on view through August 18. Free admission.

  • Workshops and classes taught by Alex Dimitrov, Anaïs Duplan, Elaine Equi, T’ai Freedom Ford, Alan Gilbert, Kimiko Hahn, Nathalie Handal, Barbara Henning, Tyehimba Jess, Eléna Rivera, Neil Shepard, Emily Skillings, and R.A. Villanueva. Click here for fees and registration guidelines.

  • Unless otherwise indicated, all programs take place at Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Lower Manhattan and are $10 General Admission; $7 Students and Seniors; Free for Poets House Members.

    In the News


    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 through May 12, 2018

    "5x5" from the Poets House Showcase

    On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Poets House Showcase, Poets House is pleased to co-sponsor with Verse a series of curated book selections from the exhibit by prominent poets. An exciting annual exhibition, the Showcase gathers poetry books and press ephemera from the past year, boasting over 3,600 titles from 750 publishers. We are pleased offer a "5X5"—5 book recommendations each from poets Lynn Melnick, Paolo Javier, Kyle Dacuyan, sam sax, and aziza barnes — in celebration of the twenty-fifth Annual Showcase and the breadth of contemporary poetry it encompasses. Click here to read "5x5"

    “...the perfect place to open little minds to the wonderful world of poetry...”

    Parenting website Mommy Nearest declares Poets House a “Must Do in Battery Park City”! Click the link to read more.

    Download the Spring 2018 Program Calendar (PDF)

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