New York

Continuing his support of New York's rich literary tradition, in January 2016 Governor Cuomo appointed Yusef Komunyakaa as New York's 11th state poet, taking over for Marie Howe. Throughout his two-year term, the poet laureate promotes and encourages poetry writing throughout New York by giving public readings and talks within the state.

In 2016 Rebecca Black was appointed the poet laureate of Albany, New York. Black is the author of Cottonlandia (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry.

upcoming events

Jun 03 2018
Pulitzer Prize Winner Peter Balakian to Read at Katonah Poetry Series on June 3

On Sunday, June 3 at 4 pm the Katonah Poetry Series will welcome Peter Balakian for its season finale. Balakian was recently honored with the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his collection, Ozone Journal (University of Chicago Press). An acclaimed poet, memoirist, essayist, and cultural critic, he has authored seven volumes of poetry, four non-fiction books and two translations. His work is deeply concerned with his Armenian heritage; the Pulitzer Prize committee said, “In the dynamic, sensual language of these poems, we are reminded that the history of atrocity, trauma and forgetting is both global and ancient . . . But we are reminded, too, of the beauty and richness of culture, and the resilience of love.” His poems have appeared in The NationThe New RepublicAntaeusPartisan ReviewPoetry, and The Kenyon Review and have been widely anthologized. His work has also been translated into more than 12 languages and published internationally.

In addition to his poetry, Balakian has published extensively and to great acclaim as a memoirist, scholar and translator. His memoir Black Dog of Fate won the PEN/Albrand Award; The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response was awarded the Raphael Lemkin Prize and was both a New York Times bestseller and a New York Times notable book. His translation with Aris Sevag of Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide was a Washington Post book of the year. His essays have appeared in such major publications as the New York Times Magazine, The GuardianSlateLA TimesArt In AmericaAmerican Poetry Review, and Poetry. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, as well as the Republic of Armenia's Presidential and Movses Khorenatsi Medals, and the Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Democracy and Tolerance. Born and raised in New Jersey, Balakian received his B.A., M. A., and PhD degrees from Bucknell University, New York University and Brown. He currently teaches at Colgate University where he is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities and Director of Creative Writing. 

Doors open at 3:30 pm. The reading will be followed by audience Q&A, a public reception, and book signing with the poet. Copies of Balakian’s books will be available for sale, as will the newly published How a Poem Can Happen: Interviews with Twenty-One Extraordinary Poets (Red Spruce Press)—a collection of KPS poet interviews conducted by Andrew Kuhn between 2010-2016. The Katonah Village Library is located at 26 Bedford Road, an easy walk from the MetroNorth train station. Street parking is available. For further information and exclusive interviews of current KPS poets, please visit The Katonah Poetry Series has been showcasing the world’s best poets for over fifty years. KPS can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

26 Bedford Road
10536 Katonahj, New York
Jun 09 2018
New York's 15th Annual "Song of Myself" Marathon!

Time to Yawp! Please join us on Saturday, June 9, 4:30 pm, for this free celebration of Walt Whitman's beloved poem, organized and hosted by Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener. Write to [email protected] with your favorite three sections of "Song of Myself" (using the 1891-'92 edition's breakdown of 52 sections). I'll be in touch with you as the event draws closer, to provide the final list of readers. Original interpretations of your chosen passage are encouraged! Folks have recited their passages in other languages, to music, in dramatic performance, by heart, in costume, with lassos, in yoga positions... celebrate Walt in your own way! 

Brooklyn Bridge Park
11201 Brooklyn, New York
Jul 30 2018 to Aug 10 2018
Urban Word NYC 2018 Summer Institute
Urban Word NYC’s Summer Institute will be a two-week long writing, revision, and performance intensive camp. Participants will get to work with extremely accomplished poets who have toured internationally, placed in National & Individual World Poetry Slams, and been published numerous places. In addition to working on their craft, participants will build community with one another and investigate what it means to be a young person in New York City, as well as what joy and celebration mean in an era fraught with political terror and danger. This camp is perfect for any teenager interested in being a part of the more vibrant creative community in New York City. 
The institute will run from Monday, July 30 through August 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with creative field trips/experiences on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., which will be announced closer to the date.
Space is limited! We will select recipients based on their thoughtful responses to the questions in the application. 
We will announce the students who have been selected for the program on May 31st. 
11:00am to 3:00pm
5 West 19th St, Buzzer Q Third Floor
10011 New York, New York

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Poetry in New York
Yusef Komunyakaa
New York poet laureate

Yusef Komunyakaa

Poet Yusef Komunyakaa first received wide recognition following the 1984 publication of Copacetic, a collection of poems built from colloquial speech...


She is perfectly ordinary, a cashmere scarf
snugly wrapped around her neck. She is
a middle age that is crisp, appealing in New York.
She is a brain surgeon or a designer of blowdryers.
I know this because I am in her skin this morning
riding the bus, happy to be not young, happy to be
thrilled that it is cold

For Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
     starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking 
     for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
     connection to the starry dynamo in the

In memory of Father Flye, 1884-1985

The strange and wonderful are too much with us.
The protea of the antipodes--a great,
globed, blazing honeybee of a bloom--
for sale in the supermarket! We are in
our decadence, we are not entitled.
What have we done to deserve
all the produce of the tropics--