Reading Room & Library © Poets House

Welcome to Poets House!

The national library and literary center where everyone can find something in the wide and varied tradition of poetry that speaks directly to them.
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Poetic Voices of the Muslim World panel
Poetic Voices, Queens Library © Michael Lum/RAA

Poetry at Large

Learn about Poetry in Zoos, Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, and other Poets House national initiatives.

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Child with magnetic poetry
C L Hays Children’s Room © Tony Gale

Children's Room

A creative space filled with children's poetry books, typewriters, and a card catalog filled with poetic objects to trigger young imaginations.

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A Place for Poetry – Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.

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In the Spotlight

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


    Exhibition

    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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What's Happening

What's Happening

Pièce de Résistance: A Benefit for the 30th Anniversary of Poets House

This is a special benefit for Poets House that helps keep our programming free or low cost.

Join us for a celebration of fine dining and poetry with poets Elizabeth Alexander, Taylor...

February 26, 2018 - 6:00PM to 9:00PM

Neil Shepard

The Whole Poem with Neil Shepard

From first draft to final draft, we require strategies for seeing the whole poem, both its full potential for content and its most satisfying form. We require, as Charles Olson said, the intense perception of the...

February 21, 2018 - 6:00PM to 8:30PM

 Elena Rivera

The Open Mind: Lessons from the Visual Arts with Eléna Rivera

This workshop will focus on the ways the visual arts informs poetry, not just in writing in and about visual art (architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, installation and public art), but...

February 22, 2018 - 6:00PM to 8:30PM

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Poets House at a Glance

Poets House at a Glance

A home for poets, a place for poets, Poets House library for poetry “…Poets House, that hybrid of library, study hall and exhibition space, floating like a utopian mirage over the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan…”—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

Our Mission

A Home for All Who Read and Write Poetry

Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Our poetry resources and literary events document the wealth and diversity of poetry and stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture. We seek to document the wealth and diversity of poetry and to cultivate a wider audience for the art.

LEED certified green building houses comprehensive Poetry Library and poetry collection

Our Space

A Place for Poetry

Opened to the public in September 2009, the new home for Poets House is LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The 11,000-square-foot space designed by architect Louise Braverman is more than double the size of our former home in SoHo.

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SUPPORT POETS HOUSE

Members and donors make our work possible. Your generosity sustains the library and ensures that our vibrant public programming and outreach continues to thrive.

  • Become a member
  • Mon Feb 26

    This is a special benefit for Poets House that helps keep our programming free or low cost....

    Sat Mar 3

    Graduates of Poets House’s Emerging Poets Fellowship read new work composed on the theme...

    Fri Mar 9

    On the occasion of Poets House’s 30th Anniversary, three award-winning poets, representing the rich...

    Visit NYC poetry library, poetry collection in new york, american poets Free and open to the public

    Hours

    Library & Reading Room
    Tues–Fri, 11:00am–7:00pm
    Sat, 11:00 am–6:00pm

    Children’s Room
    Thur–Sat, 11:00–5:00pm


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