Poets Forum

Poets Forum
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Each fall the Academy of American Poets presents a series of events over three days in New York City that explore the ever-changing landscape of contemporary poetry in America.

This year’s Poets Forum will be held October 8 to 10, 2015, and will feature readings and conversations by the award-winning poets who serve on our organization’s Board of Chancellors. Purchase tickets at http://poetsforum2015.eventbrite.com



THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8

A Reading by the Academy of American Poets Chancellors
6:30–8:00 p.m.
Location: The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, 566 LaGuardia Place

Join us for an unforgettable evening as award-winning poets from across the U.S. who serve as Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets come together on one stage to share their poems. Featuring Elizabeth Alexander, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Linda Gregerson, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Khaled Mattawa, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Alicia Ostriker, Claudia Rankine, Alberto Ríos, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C. D. Wright. The reading will be followed by a book signing in the lobby.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9

Poetry Walking Tours of Brooklyn (For all-events passholders only)
10:30 a.m.–noon & 1:30–3:00 p.m.

Passholders may RSVP to take a walking tour exploring the literary history of Brooklyn, with stops at the Cave Canem Foundation and Berl's Poetry Shop—the only all-poetry bookstore in NYC. More details in early fall.

A Reading by Marie Howe and Lecture by Joy Harjo
6:30–7:30 p.m.
Location: Theresa Lang Center, The New School, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor

Join us for a reading by recent New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe and a lecture on contemporary poetry by Joy Harjo: “Ancestors: a Mapping of Indigenous Poetry and Poets.” In this, our annual Blaney Lecture, Harjo will give an overview of the current field of young indigenous poets, and their ancestral strands of relatives. The branches extend throughout the world, before the English language.The annual Blaney Lecture was created in memory of former Academy of American Poets Board member Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney by a gift from her estate. The event will be followed by a book signing and reception.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10

Chancellor Conversations
10:00 a.m.–3:50 p.m.
Location: Theresa Lang Center, The New School, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor

A series of five dynamic conversations between the diverse poets who serve on our honorary Board of Chancellors on topics central to poets and readers today.

In Search of Poetry Today: Toi Derricotte, Anne Waldman, and C. D. Wright
10:00–10:50 a.m.
The dissolution of genres. Poetry as drawing. The City of Poetry. The Country of Poetry. The Bomb Shelter of Poetry. The Tenant Farm of Poetry. The Exclusion Zone of Poetry. Poets Anonymous. Poetry's Anomie—Academy Chancellors explore the shifting definition of the art form.

Tracing the Lyric: Mark Doty, Linda Gregerson, and Jane Hirshfield
11:00–11:50 a.m.
The personal sphere and the inner life have long been the domain of the lyric poem. How has this form, and our reading of it, changed over time?  Academy Chancellors share their insights on the lyric poem past and present.

Lunch Break
11:50 a.m.–12:50 p.m.

Reports from Around the World: Khaled Mattawa, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Arthur Sze
1:00–1:50 p.m.
Academy Chancellors discuss their experiences with poetry and poets from other countries. What does the poetry culture look like abroad? Which books and poets from around the world should we be reading?

Projects-in-Progress: Marilyn Nelson, Alicia Ostriker, Alberto Ríos
2:00–2:50 p.m.
Academy Chancellors discuss new poetic projects they are currently working on, including state poet laureate efforts and poems about the city, as well as long-cherished practices.

Poets Respond: Elizabeth Alexander, Juan Felipe Herrera, Claudia Rankine
3:00–3:50 p.m.
How poets and the poetry community respond to tragic events and challenges facing our country and the world today.

American Poets Magazine Publication Party
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Location: Wollman Hall, The New School, 65 West 11th Street, 5th Floor

Join us for a reading and reception featuring 2015 Walt Whitman Award winner Sjohnna McCray, in celebration of the new fall/winter issue of American Poets, the Academy’s biannual magazine. This event is free and open to the public.


Poets Forum is cosponsored by The New School Creative Writing Program and The New York University Creative Writing Program. The program is also made possible, in part, by support from the National Endowment of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.