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

Apr 25 2017
Poetry Reading with Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker is an esteemed and award winning poet and critic, author of 17 volumes of poetry, including her most recent collection Waiting for the Light (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). Ostriker is distinguished Professor Emerita of Rutgers University, teaches in the low-residency Poetry MFA program at Drew University, and is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Kathy Engel currently serves as chair and associate arts professor in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Art and Public Policy and Masters Program in Arts Politics.

726 Broadway
10003 New York, New York
May 13 2017
Katonah Poetry Series to Celebrate its Fiftieth Anniversary

The Katonah Poetry Series will host a gala event on Saturday, May 13, to celebrate fifty years of bringing the finest voices in contemporary poetry to northern Westchester. The public is invited to attend a reading with our all-star panel of poets, followed by a VIP cocktail reception. The panel features longtime KPS advisor and two-time US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, National Book Award winner Mark Doty, NY State Poet Laureate Marie Howe (2012-2014), and Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri. They will read their own poetry as well as that of other beloved KPS poets. Billy Collins will lead the panel in an exploration of contemporary poetry and where it might go next. A separately ticketed VIP cocktail reception will follow—in the company of the poets!--including gourmet hors d’oeuvres, libations and live jazz. 

Katonah Village Library. Past KPS poets include nine Poets Laureate of the United States, sixteen winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and eleven National Book Award Winners. KPS poets are exceptional for the excellence of their work, but also the excellence of their stage presence—charming audiences with poetry and commentary that beguiles, amuses and elucidates. KPS can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


260 Jay Street,
10536 Katonah, New York
Apr 27 2017
The Poetry Brothel at The Strand

The Poetry Brothel is a unique and immersive poetry event that takes poetry outside classrooms and lecture halls and places it in the lush interiors of a bordello. The Poetry Brothel presents a rotating cast of poets, each operating within a carefully crafted character, who impart their work in public readings, spontaneous eruptions of poetry, and most distinctly, as purveyors of private poetry readings on beds, chaise lounges, and in private rooms. For a small fee, all of the poets are available for these sequestered readings at any time during the event. Of course, any true brothel needs a good cover; The Poetry Brothel's is an immersive cabaret, offering live music, burlesque, magic, vaudeville, and fortune-tellers, with newly integrated themes, performances, and installations at each event.

Line Up will be announced soon, and you can get more details here

Come for the happy hour from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., where your first drink is on The Strand. The show will start at 8 p.m.

The event is presented in conjunction with National Poetry Month, the world's largest literary celebration, now in its 21st year.

You can purchase a $50 ticket, which will include a $10 gift card to Strand, a small book of poetry, and admission to the event. You can also purchase a VIP ticket for $75 and include a gift bag, 2 private readings, and more. The event will be located in the Strand's 3rd floor Rare Book Room. Guest entry at 826 Broadway at 12th Street. 

828 Broadway
10003 New York , New York

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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...



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
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

1. Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have walked. He replied, I should have been a doctor. 2. When can I get on the 11:33 I ask the guy in the information booth at the Atlantic Avenue Station. When they open the doors, he says. I am home among my people.