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In the Spotlight

Joint statement from the Poetry Coalition on the National Endowment for the Arts findings that poetry reading is on the rise

New York, NY (June 7, 2018)– We, leaders of nonprofit poetry organizations, came together to found and publicly launch the Poetry Coalition in November 2016 in part because the demand for our programs and the interest in poetry we were experiencing at our organizations wasn’t reflected in available research or by the media.

We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts and Director of Research and Analysis Sunil Iyengar for continuing to collect and study people’s engagement with poetry. We’re pleased that the findings he has released today are aligned with what we’ve been seeing at our individual organizations— poetry is on the rise. Specifically:

•Nearly 29 million U.S. adults read poetry not required for work or school, the highest rate on record over a 15-year period of conducting the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.

•Young adults are the fastest growing group of poetry readers among all age groups. Among 18-24-year-olds, the poetry-reading rate has doubled, to 17.5 percent in 2017, up from 8.7 percent in 2012.

•African Americans, Asian Americans, and other non-white, non-Hispanic groups now read poetry at the highest rates.

These findings were released in a post on the NEA’s Art Works blog.

While this increased engagement can be attributed to many factors, our collective work and collaboration has clearly had an impact. Taken together, our organizations reach many millions of readers of all ages and in all 50 states through digital and print publications, live events including poetry readings and workshops, poetry festivals, special collections and archives, public poetry projects, mentorship programs, youth programs, and more.

We also believe that strong poetry organizations working together serving poets and readers in different geographical locations and from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and genders are essential to sustaining the growth we’re seeing now.

We are excited that this news confirms our daily experience at our organizations and look forward to continuing to work together to help poetry reach new audiences and thrive.


Founding Poetry Coalition members are: Academy of American Poets, New York, NY; Asian American Writers’ Workshop, New York, NY; Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles, CA; CantoMundo, New York, NY; Cave Canem Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Newark, NJ; Kundiman, New York, NY; Lambda Literary, Los Angeles, CA; Letras Latinas at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, Notre Dame, IN; Mass Poetry, Boston, MA; National Student Poets/Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, New York, NY; O, Miami, Miami, FL; The Poetry Center, San Francisco, CA; The Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL; The Poetry Project, New York, NY; The Poetry Society of America, New York, NY; Poets House, New York, NY; Split This Rock, Washington, D.C.; University of Arizona Poetry Center, Tucson, AZ; Urban Word / National Youth Poets Laureate, New York, NY & Los Angeles, CA; Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, Kent, OH; Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, WI

Affiliate members are: Brooklyn Poets, Brooklyn, NY; The Favorite Poem Project, Boston, MA; Get Lit, Los Angeles, CA; Just Buffalo Literary Center, Buffalo, NY; Poetry Slam, Inc.; Young Chicago Authors, Chicago, IL

Announcing the 2018 Showcase & Showcase Reading Series

The only event of its kind, the annual Poets House Showcase is a free exhibit displaying the newest poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States from over 700 commercial, university and independent presses. The 26th annual Showcase opens on Thursday, June 28, 2018, and the exhibit will be on view through August 18 during regular library hours. Featuring books published during the last 18 months, the exhibition is accompanied by the following events:

Opening Receptions & Reading
Thursday, June 28
Reception: 6:00pm with D.J.
Reading: 7:00pm with Brenda Hillman, Tarfia Faizullah & Kaveh Akbar
Post-Reading Reception: 8:00pm with D.J.

The 2018 Showcase is unveiled with receptions before and after our first Showcase Reading. Please join us for a glass of wine and listen to music curated by poet Rico Frederick, D.J. and graduate of Poets House's Emerging Poets Fellowship, as you peruse all the new poetry books gathered over the last 18 months, on view through August 18. Our first Showcase Reading begins at 7:00pm with Brenda Hillman, author of Extra Hidden Life, among the Days (Wesleyan); Tarfia Faizullah, author of Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf Press); and Kaveh Akbar, Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books). See below for details on other Showcase Readings.

Reading: Thursday, July 12, 7:00pm
Dorothea Lasky
, Milk (Wave)
Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights)
Wayne Koestenbaum, Camp Marmalade (Nightboat)
Celina Su, Landia (Belladonna*)

Reading: Thursday, July 19, 7:00pm
Lawrence Joseph
, So Where Are We? (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Natalie Eilbert, Indictus (Noemi)
Anaïs Duplan, Mount Carmel & The Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press)
Tony Robles, Fingerprints of a Hungerstrike (Ithurel’s Spear)

Reading: Thursday, July 26, 7:00pm
Joy Ladin
, The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow)
Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Oceanic (Copper Canyon)
Michael Lally, Another Way to Play: Poems 1960-2017 (Seven Stories)
Roberto Harrison, Bridge of the World (Litmus Press)

Reading: Thursday, August 2, 7:00pm
Denizé Lauture
, a kiss to the land (Subpress Collective)
Katy Lederer, The bright red horse―and the blue― (Atelos)
Raquel Salas Rivera, Lo terciario/The Tertiary (Timeless, Infinite Light)
Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions)

In the News

  • Fox5 News: "Poets House Celebrates 30th Anniversary" (VIDEO)
  • Time Out New York names Poets House "one of the most gorgeous NYC Libraries"
  • Exhibitions


    The Little Magazine
    On view through September 8, 2018

    This exhibition celebrates the contributions small-press magazines have made to the development of poets, as well as to national and international literary, cultural, and political movements. Emphasizing the material richness and collaborative spirit of experimental publications and publishing communities, the exhibition includes 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.





    “...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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