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

date
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 17 2016
Anne Waldman and Meredith Monk
The Academy of American Poets is pleased to present our Fall Conversation Series in partnership with Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, featuring composer and choreographer Meredith Monk in conversation with American Book Award-winning poet Anne Waldman. Free and open to the public.
 
Meredith Monk is a Grammy-nominated composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films, and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, Monk’s work has been presented by BAM, Lincoln Center Festival, and London’s Barbican Centre, among other major venues around the world. Her many honors include a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, three Obie Awards, and two Bessie Awards for Sustained Creative Achievement. In 2014, Monk also received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
 
Anne Waldman is the author of over forty books of poetry, most recently Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet To Be Born (Coffee House Press, 2016). Her numerous honors include the American Book Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dylan Thomas Memorial Award, and the Shelley Memorial Award. Waldman is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is the director of the MFA Writing and Poetics program at the Naropa Institute. She divides her time between Boulder, Colorado, and New York City.
 
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7:00pm to 8:00pm
126 Crosby Street
10012 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...

poems

poem

To Mary Jo Salter

Beyond the ice-bound stones and bucking trees, 
past bewildered Mary, the Meer in snow, 
two skating rinks and two black crooked paths

are a battered pair of reading glasses 
scratched by the skater's multiplying math. 
Beset, I play this game of tic-tac-toe.

Divide, subtract. Who can
poem
Long vast shapes... cooled and flushed through with darkness...
Lidless windows
Glazed with a flashy luster
From some little pert café chirping up like a sparrow.
And down among iron guts
Piled silver
Throwing gray spatter of light... pale without heat...
Like the pallor of dead bodies.
poem
The instructor said,

    Go home and write
    a page tonight.
    And let that page come out of you—
    Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill