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

date
May 10 2018
Monica A. Hand's DIVIDA Book Launch

Join us as we celebrate the launch of the late Monica A. Hand's poetry collection, DIVIDA, with guest readers and a cocktail reception at the I, Too Arts Collective.

Reading this evening will be LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, JP Howard, Tyehimba Jess, Anne Marie Macari, Yesenia Montilla and Nicole Sealey.

For more information on DIVIDA and to order, visit: http://alicejamesbooks.org/ajb-titles/divida/

To learn more about the I, Too Arts Collective, please visit: http://www.itooarts.com/

"DiVida stands as a timeless presence burdened by the injustices of systemic racism. Her power is rooted in black women’s ability, born of necessity, to inhabit their bodies in multiple ways."
Publishers Weekly

DiVida: divided? DiVida: of life? The imaginary character who carries the name and sings her life is both DiVida and Sapphire, who sometimes replies to her musings, as one voice speaking for a universe of black women. Like syncopated masks, the voices of Hand’s book offer a new sense of double-consciousness. Her untimely death at the zenith of her career lends the last few poems, which anticipate death, a special fullness and poignancy.”
—Marilyn Nelson

“Monica Hand was brave. She headed into language with an arsenal of knowledge, curiosity, rage, desire and came out with the spoils. DIVIDA is a collection showcasing her deep knowledge of American culture and contemporary poetics with her authoritative use of the Black vernacular, as she crosses boundaries of race, gender, class in search of a liberated self. That she riffs John Berryman’s Dream Songs is but one of her many transgressions. Orgasmic, self-lacerating, wicked-ass funny (oh Sapphire), these poems add to the powerful, blues driven truths of ME AND NINA. With this posthumous collection, Alice James has done her legacy well.”
—Patricia Spears Jones

7:30pm
20 E 127th St
10035 New York, New York
May 03 2018
Tarfia Faizullah, Susan Brind Morrow, and Carol Muske-Dukes

Bangladeshi American poet Tarfia Faizullah grew up in Midland, Texas. She earned an MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University program in creative writing. Her first book, Seam (2014), won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Focused around a long sequence “Interview with a Birangona,” the book explores the ethics of interviewing as well as the history of the birangona, Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971. Faizullah received a Fulbright award to travel to Bangladesh and interview the birangona. Her latest collection is Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf Press, 2018).

Susan Brind Morrow was born in Geneva, New York and attended Barnard College and Columbia University, where she studied Classics, Arabic and Egyptology, and Boston University, where she was a doctoral student of Elie Wiesel's in Comparative Religion. She is the author of The Names of Things: A Passage in the Egyptian Desert, a finalist for the Pen Martha Albrand Award for the Memoir in 1998, Wolves and Honey: A Hidden History of the Natural World, and The Dawning Moon of the Mind: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts (2015), a collection of her translation and commentary.

Carol Muske- Dukes is a professor at the University of Southern California and a former Poet Laureate of California. She is an author of eight books of poems, most recently Blue Rose (Penguin, April 2018). Earlier books of poems include Sparrow, from Random House, a National Book Award finalist, and others. She has also published four novels, including Channeling Mark Twain. She is also an essayist and anthology editor.

7:00pm
58 West 10th Street
10003 New York, New York
May 03 2018
Watch Your Tone: A Reading

Witness the work of participants in Nathan McClain's workshop “Watch Your Tone” as they share new poems, both playful and serious. Free and open to the public. Potluck refreshments served.

6:30pm to 8:30pm
20 Jay Street
Suite #310-A
11201 Brooklyn, 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...

poems

poem

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
2
poem
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
poem
I see it as it looked one afternoon
In August,—by a fresh soft breeze o'erblown.
The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,
A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.
The shining waters with pale currents strewn,
The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove,
The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.
The luminous