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
Jan 20 2018
Writers Rising: #LouderTogether

On January 20, one year after our inaugural Writers Resist event, PEN America will be joining dozens of artists, arts organizations, and advocacy groups staging public events on Art Action Day. We’ll be hosting a sundown reading on the steps of the New York Public Library featuring literary texts that radically reimagine community and mutual aid in the face of xenophobia, hatred, and threats to our sense of truth. Our exciting and growing lineup so far includes André Aciman, Tina Chang, Álvaro Enrigue, George Emilio Sanchez, Anne Waldman, and others reading from the work of Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, Joy Harjo, and many more. Join us as we assemble to energize our community action and coalition building for the year ahead.

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RSVP

5:30pm
476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
10018 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
20 Jay Street, Suite #310-A
11201 Brooklyn, New York
Apr 26 2018
The Tenth Muse with Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles — “a kick-ass, counter-cultural icon,” wrote The New Yorker — takes on a longstanding Poetry Center tradition, curating and introducing readings by three of their favorite poets: Laura Henriksen, Tommy Pico, and Christopher Soto.

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8:00pm
1395 Lexington Avenue
10128 New York, New York

recent & featured listings

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Landmark The White Horse Tavern 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

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.

poem
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
The
poem
I

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