Poetry, Library, Reading Room, NYC Poetry
Reading Room & Library © Poets House

Welcome to Poets House!

The national library and literary center where everyone can find something in the wide and varied tradition of poetry that speaks directly to them.
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Painting "Hot Turns" Fay Lansner, Barbara Guest
Hot Turns 1982 © Fay Lansner

Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet Barbara Guest & Artist Fay Lansner

Drawings, paintings, collages and portraits depicting creative collaboration and friendship
EXTENDED On view through April 30

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Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, Emory University

The Poets’ Rebellion: Poetry, Memory, and the Easter Rising

An exhibit of literary and cultural artifacts from the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University relating to the April 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland
Opening May 4

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Walkers cross the Brooklyn Bridge under the Poets House banner
© Poets House


The 2016 Poets House Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Monday, June 13

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Young Poets in Children's Room, Poetry for Children, Poetry NYC
C L Hays Children’s Room © Mark Woods

Children's Room

A creative space filled with children's poetry books, typewriters, and a card catalog filled with poetic objects to trigger young imaginations.

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Poetic Voices of the Muslim World panel
Poetic Voices, Queens Library © Michael Lum/RAA

Poetry at Large

Learn about Poetry in Zoos, Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, and other Poets House national initiatives.

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A Place for Poetry – Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.

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In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

“...the perfect place to open little minds to the wonderful world of poetry...”

Parenting website Mommy Nearest declares Poets House a “Must Do in Battery Park City”! Click the link to read more.

May and June Events

• Wednesday, May 4, 6:00-7:00pm
Exhibition Opening: Curator’s tour for The Poet’s Rebellion: Poetry, Memory, and the Easter Rising with Sarah Harsh and Kevin Young

• Wednesday, May 4, 7:00pm
Leabhar na hAathghabhála/Poems of Repossession: A Reading of Modern Irish Poetry

• Tuesday, May 10, 7:00pm
Hurt So Good: Building the Body of the Beloved & Other Emotional Imageries with Natalie Diaz

• Wednesday, May 18, 7:00pm
Blood of the Sun: A Bilingual Reading with Salgado Maranhão and Alexis Levatin

• Wednesday, May 25, 7:00pm
Special Event for Poets House Members: Treasures from the Poets House Library

• Monday, June 6, 7:00pm
An American Lyric with Claudia Rankine

• Tuesday, June 7, 7:00pm
Emerging Poets Fellowship Reading

• Monday, June 13, 6:00pm
21st Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

• Tuesday, June 21, 4:00-8:00pm
Night at the Museums

Alice Kaasik

Our dear colleague, Alice Kaasik (Ollie)—who has been the Poets House bookkeeper for 25 years—died on Friday, February 19, 2016, at Sloan Kettering in New York. She had been fighting cancer for many years.

Alice's work helped to put Poets House on firm financial footing, and with Managing Director Jane Preston, gave us the best financial team in the field of literary non-profits. Alice, who earned a degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Temple University, had a similar and important role in building the business of Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, which illuminates events all over the country from Hollywood weddings to jamborees at the White House.

Alice was a mirthful person dedicated to her beloved husband Andy and her extended, Estonian family on Shelter Island. She lent her acting talents and inimitable energy to the Children’s Room at Poets House by occasionally reading poetry to children with accompaniment from a full cast of hand puppets. Around the holidays, she and her husband could be spotted moonlighting as Mrs. and Mr. Claus at parties and events all over the area. She loved Broadway musicals, dancing, people and Poets House.

We share this sad news with gratitude for her presence in our lives.

Diversity and Inclusivity at Poets House

At the heart of our mission is a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, which has informed our programs and activities since we opened our doors to the public in 1986. Poets House exists to create a welcoming home at all times for poets and poetry readers, and to those who are exploring poetry.

We have been informed that at a rental event at Poet House on November 21, 2015, a poem was read that contained a racial slur. Racist language and hate speech have no place at Poets House. In response to this occurrence, Poets House wishes to rearticulate its dedication to creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone, a space that encourages artistic excellence, inquiry and experimentation, and one that welcomes everyone into the joyous exploration of this art. We are reaffirming this vision through this statement and in the revision to the contract that each renter must sign in order to use the space for their own functions.

We believe that poetry can promote a deeper conversation between individuals, communities and cultures. Poets House’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity has determined the course of our institutional life over the past thirty years; on a daily basis, we strive to make a democratic and pluralistic space for poets and the public.


Metamorphosis: The Collaboration of Poet Barbara Guest & Artist Fay Lansner charts the creative collaboration and friendship between the painter and the New York School poet, depicting the progressive transformation of the creative process. Exhibition on view February 20-April 30, 2016

Click here to listen to the artist's daughter Erica Lansner and poet and critic Raphael Rubenstein discuss the Guest/Lansner collaboration at the opening of the exhibition

Click here to read the Downtown Express review of the exhibition

Poem painting Hot Turns (1982) ©Fay Lansner

Opening Wednesday May 4th
The Poets’ Rebellion: Poetry, Memory, and the Easter Rising

A special exhibition of rare books and papers on loan from Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University relating to the April 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

Download our Spring 2016 Calendar (PDF)

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What's Happening

What's Happening

Kevin Goodan

Literary Partners Program presents: Kevin Goodan and Kimberly Burwick at Poets House

Come celebrate the launch of Kevin Goodan's fourth book, Let the Voices and Kimberly Burwick's forthcoming Custody of the Eyes.

Kevin Goodan...

April 30, 2016 - 4:00PM to 6:00PM

Literary Partners Program presents: Marsh Hawk Press 2016 Book Launch

Eight authors & eight new titles to celebrate! Thomas Fink (Selected Poems & Poetic Series), Sandy McIntosh (A Hole In the Ocean: A Hamptons' Apprenticeship...

May 5, 2016 - 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Ariana Reines

Dear ____________ With Ariana Reines

In this one-day intensive, we'll look at some of literary history's great epistolary writing-- from Heloise & Abelard to Chris Kraus, passing by way of Madame de Stael, Proust, Keats, Lou Andreas-Salome, Rilke,...

May 8, 2016 - 12:00PM to 6:00PM

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Poets House at a Glance

Poets House at a Glance

A home for poets, a place for poets, Poets House library for poetry “…Poets House, that hybrid of library, study hall and exhibition space, floating like a utopian mirage over the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan…”—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

Our Mission

A Home for All Who Read and Write Poetry

Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Our poetry resources and literary events document the wealth and diversity of poetry and stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture. We seek to document the wealth and diversity of poetry and to cultivate a wider audience for the art.

LEED certified green building houses comprehensive Poetry Library and poetry collection

Our Space

A Place for Poetry

Opened to the public in September 2009, the new home for Poets House is LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The 11,000-square-foot space designed by architect Louise Braverman is more than double the size of our former home in SoHo.

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Members and donors make our work possible. Your generosity sustains the library and ensures that our vibrant public programming and outreach continues to thrive.

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  • Sat Apr 30

    Come celebrate the launch of Kevin Goodan's fourth book, Let the Voices and...

    Wed May 4

    Join us for the launch of the first comprehensive critical anthology of modern poetry in Irish Gaelic with...

    Thu May 5

    Eight authors & eight new titles to celebrate! Thomas Fink (Selected Poems &...

    Visit NYC poetry library, poetry collection in new york, american poets Free and open to the public


    Library & Reading Room
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    Sat, 11:00 am–6:00pm

    Children’s Room
    Thur–Sat, 11:00–5:00pm

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