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

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Feb 25 2017
Short Talks On Large Legacies In Black History

In celebration of Black History Month, Timothy Donnelly, Margo Jefferson, and Mónica de la Torre present short talks on poetic giants of the past and how the legacy of African-American poetry continues to shape their own craft. Join us as we pay homage to black writers and artists who have helped shape contemporary poetry and take one last look at our exhibition American Stanzas: 2006-2016 by poet, photographer, and visual artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

3:00pm
10 River Terrace
10282 NYC, New York
Mar 01 2017
Robert Lowell at 100—March 1 Lecture & Roundtable Discussion

New York University will host “Robert Lowell: Setting the River On Fire,” a lecture by Lowell biographer Kay Redfield Jamison, followed by a roundtable discussion celebrating the works of the acclaimed poet, on Wed., March 1, 7 p.m. at NYU School of Law’s Greenberg Lounge (40 Washington Square South [between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets]).

The event, which takes place on the 100th anniversary of Lowell’s birth, will feature: Kay Redfield Jamison, author of a new biography, Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire; Katie Peterson, editor of Lowell's New Selected Poems; Frank Bidart, National Book Critics Circle-winning poet and longtime associate of Lowell; poet and The New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon; and poet Ishion Hutchinson.

“Robert Lowell: Setting the River On Fire,” free and open to the public, will consider his impact on poetry and why he has remained a major presence in our literature after his death in 1977.

An RSVP is required—please register here. For more information, email transformative.lives@nyu.edu or call 212.998.4291. Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M (W. 4th St.).

The event, which will include a book signing of Jamison’s and Peterson’s new works, is sponsored by the Biography Seminar at NYU; the Center for the Study of Transformative Lives; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Lowell's publisher; Alfred A. Knopf, publishers of Kay Redfield Jamison; and the Poetry Society of America.

7:00pm
40 Washington Square South
10012 New York, New York
Mar 16 2017
Canadian Mosaic: A Reading and Conversation

Canada’s foremost poets Colin Browne, Daphne Marlatt, and former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah read from their work, exemplifying the contemporary landscape of Canadian poetry. Poets share insight into how their diverse backgrounds as filmmakers, novelists, and scholars inform their own poetics and contribute to the diverse tapestry of Canadian literature. Moderated by Paolo Javier. Funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts.

7:00pm
10 River Terrace
10282 NYC, 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

Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious as if I were French?

Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous (and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable list!), but one of these days there'll be nothing left with which to venture forth.

Why should I

poem
Under Grand Central's tattered vault
  —maybe half a dozen electric stars still lit—
    one saxophone blew, and a sheer black scrim

billowed over some minor constellation
  under repair. Then, on Broadway, red wings
    in a storefront tableau, lustrous, the live macaws

preening, beaks opening and closing
poem

For Naomi Ginsberg, 1894-1956

Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
   the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
   talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues