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.

upcoming events

Nov 14 2016
Yusef Komunyakaa and Cécile McLorin Salvant
The Academy of American Poets is pleased to present our Fall Conversation Series in partnership with Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa in conversation with Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. Free and open to the public.
Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently The Emperor of Water Clocks (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Wallace Stevens Award. Komunyakaa is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is currently Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program. He lives in New York City.
Cécile McLorin Salvant has been described by The New York Times as “the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade.” In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first album “Cécile,” with Jean-François Bonnel’s Paris Quintet. A year later, she won the Thelonious Monk competition in Washington D.C. In 2014, her second album, “Woman Child” was nominated for a Grammy. Her third album, “For One To Love,” won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2016.


7:00pm to 8:00pm
126 Crosby Street
10012 New York, New York
Oct 27 2016
Pulitzer Centennial Poetry Celebration

At this once-in-a-lifetime event, 13 Pulitzer Prize-winning poets will share the stage to read from their own prize-winning collections as well as select poems by past winners. Join us in celebration of their achievement, of the Centennial year of the Pulitzer Prizes, and of PSA's founding role in sponsoring the earliest years of the prize for poetry. Featuring: Rae Armantrout, John Ashbery, Peter Balakian, Carl Dennis, Stephen Dunn, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, Philip Schultz, Vijay Seshadri, Natasha Trethewey, and Charles Wright. The reading will benefit the Poetry Society of America's public programming and signature initiative, Poetry in Motion.

The reading is co-sponsored by The Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs; the New York Council for the Humanities; the Pulitzer Prizes as part of the Pulitzer Centennial Campfire Initiative; and supported by Alfred A. Knopf; Four Way Books; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Graywolf; HarperCollins; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Little, Brown and Company; Louisiana State University Press; W.W. Norton; New Directions; NYRB Poets / New York Review Books; Penguin; University of Chicago Press; Wesleyan University Press. Tickets: 

7:00pm to 10:00pm
7 E 7th Street
10003 New York, New York
Nov 07 2016
Poetry Conversations: A Reading

Join us at Cave Canem to hear participants in Camille Rankine‘s fall poetry conversations workshop, “The Playing Field,” share work they've honed in class.  Camille Rankine’s first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses was published by Copper Canyon Press in January 2016. She is the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship, and a recipient of a 2010 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Atlas Review, American Poet, The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Octopus Magazine, Paper Darts, Phantom Books, A Public Space, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is a visiting professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst’s MFA for Poets and Writers, and lives in New York City. Potluck refreshments follow. FREE and open to the public.

6:00pm to 8:00pm
20 Jay Street
Ste 310-A
11207 Brooklyn , 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...


         If I know my angels,
         I know what they would say
                  --Joe Henry

He came to me
In a whisky-blue dream
In midtown Manhattan.

He wasn't angry anymore.
He seemed happy to find
Me again, my old self.

Picking up his ghost guitar,
He played me a new song.
He played it sweet and

I came up out of the subway and there were
people standing on the steps as if they knew
something I didn't. This was in the Cold War,
and nuclear fallout. I looked and the whole avenue
was empty, I mean utterly, and I thought,
The birds have abandoned our cities and the plague
of silence multiplies
Now that our hero has come back to us
in his white pants and we know his nose
trembling like a flag under fire,
we see the calm cold river is supporting
our forces, the beautiful history.

To be more revolutionary than a nun
is our desire, to be secular and intimate
as, when sighting a redcoat, you smile