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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Apr 01 2017
Philip Fried launches his new book, Squaring the Circle (Salmon)

"I love Philip Fried's elegant quarrels with the cruelty and ignorance of the world..."—Thomas Lux

121 Ludlow St., 2nd Floor, Lower East Side
2 blocks from Essex/Delancey subway stop: F, M, J, Z
10002 New York, New York
Apr 03 2017
Tyler Knott Gregson at The Strand

From the internet to the book store, Tyler Knott Gregson has been reinventing the written word, transforming poetry for the millenial age. He challenges himself by writing and posting a new poem every day, sharing them on various social networks and garnering thousands of followers to come and see his work.

Join us in the Rare Book Room as Tyler shares his new collection featuring ones from his Typewriter series, photography, and previously-unpublished work.

You can find out more about the event here.

828 Broadway
10003 New York, New York
Apr 03 2017
Frank Bidart and Alice Oswald at 92Y

A reading by two of our finest performers of poetry.

Frank Bidart's new book is Half-light: Collected Poems. "No other poet sounds like Bidart," wrote Garth Greenwell. You can hear the muscular physicality of his language, the way the sentence twists around the line breaks, never quite as expected. His work is one of the unfolding wonders of the literature of our time."

Alice Oswald's new collection is Falling Awake. "Hers is a mystical work, and when she writes you can hear the long heritage of English verse behind her," wrote The Economist. "Her poems have a rhythmical tightness. They are propulsive, forward-pulsing, knitting oneline to another. She is acutely alive in the world."

1395 Lexington Avenue
10128 New York, 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...


Under the separated leaves of shade
Of the gingko, that old tree
That has existed essentially unchanged
Longer than any other living tree, 
I walk behind a woman. Her hair's coarse gold
Is spun from the sunlight that it rides upon.
Women were paid to knit from sweet champagne
Her second skin: it winds and
She is perfectly ordinary, a cashmere scarf
snugly wrapped around her neck. She is
a middle age that is crisp, appealing in New York.
She is a brain surgeon or a designer of blowdryers.
I know this because I am in her skin this morning
riding the bus, happy to be not young, happy to be
thrilled that it is cold
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
     I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
     He did a lazy sway . . .
     He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory