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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Poetry Foundation

'Poetry' Since 1912: Books, Issues, & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation

On view through June 16th

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Poetry Audience
Audience for Claudia Rankine, June 2016 Reading © Reginald Harris

Join the Conversation!

Poets House's Winter/Spring 2017 Season

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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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Child with magnetic poetry
C L Hays Children’s Room © Tony Gale

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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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 artistic legacy of a nation also represents its riches—riches that everyone can have. Especially in a polyglot nation like ours, the existence of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) emphasizes the value of the individual interior life and exchange about our experiences in community." Why the NEA Matters, A Letter from Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti...



Poetry can repair no loss, but it defies the space that separates. And it does this by its continual labor of reassembling what has been scattered. – John Berger



Poetry offers a way to shape – and share – thinking and feeling, bridging our separations. It offers a wellspring of care, caring for language, from the deepest part of our shared humanity. Poets House creates a place for poetry; for focus, for witness. A space for civic discourse, welcoming and democratic. -Lee Briccetti, Executive Director


Upcoming Events at Poets House

Friday, April 21, 7PM
Rooms Are Never Finished: The Legacy of Agha Shahid Ali

Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, Amanda Golden, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, Patricia O’Neill, and Sejal Shah examine the life and work of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001). Celebrated for bringing the ghazal into English, Ali’s work explores cultural ties and divisions, the enduring qualities of love and friendship, and the difficulty of maintaining both.


Tuesday, April 25, 5PM
Rickey Laurentiis at BMCC

Join us for a reading featuring poet Rickey Laurentiis, author of the critically acclaimed Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Breadloaf, and the Poetry Foundation.

Wednesday, April 26, 7PM
Necessary Cuts: Rickey Laurentiis on Revision at Poets House

Though Paul Valéry claimed “a poem is never finished, only abandoned,” what happens between a poem’s creation and its abandonment is revision. Examining "Southern Cross" by Carl Phillips, "Look" by Solmaz Sharif, "won't you celebrate with me" by Lucille Clifton and bits of Sappho and Whitman, besides the spiritual "Wade in the Water," Ma Rainey's "Prove it On Me Blues," and, finally, the art of Basquiat, poet Rickey Laurentiis examines how writers can enact revision in their language, politics and lives via a poem. Laurentiis unpacks what it means to return and revise—connecting, crossing, and shaping context— until, like Michelangelo, you find the angel in the marble and set it free.

Literary Partners Program

Friday, April 21, 6-8PM
A reading by new poets from Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights


For twenty years, in April, new young poets from Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights, students in their ongoing poetry workshop led by Marty Skoble, have presented their work at a variety of venues in New York, including the Poetry Project at Saint Marks, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and now at Poets House. Please join us to hear these young voices celebrate National Poetry Month.


Saturday, April 22, 8:30AM-6:30PM
International Women's Writing Guild's Spring Big Apple Regional Writers Conference


Celebrate the International Women's Writing Guild's 40th year at their new Spring Big Apple Regional Writing Conference venue, Poets House. A Crash Course on Queries and Pitches will prepare you to pitch your book at the Meet the Agents & Publishers session. Learn about the publishing process from your peers on the New Authors Panel. Get fresh insights into the publishing world from our Agents & Authors Panel. Not ready to pitch? Bring more poetry into your life with Myra Shapiro in a workshop that will also inspire your prose. We end the day with wine, cheese, and three-minute Open Readings. The International Women's Writing Guild supports women at all stages of their writing careers. Join IWWG as they celebrate the past and move forward into their next 40 years!


In Loving Memory of Thomas Lux:

Thomas Lux
Poets House marks the passing of Thomas Lux—poet and educator—who died on February 5, 2017 at the age of 70 after a brief illness. Lux was integral to the literary community and to the Poets House family. For many years he was our guide, emcee and energetic booster for our annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge. He was a wonderful person and poet— kind and unassuming, so hilariously wry and witty. His generosity toward Poets House, both large and small, over twenty years of friendship are innumerable. Lux's books of poetry include To the Left of Time; New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995, which was a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Split Horizon, for which he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and received three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship. At the time of his death, he was the Bourne Professor of Poetry and director of the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Emerging Poet Fellows in The Wall Street Journal

2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellows José Olivarez, Emily Brandt, Cynthia Manick, Nicole Shanté wrote fashion-inspired poems for the article Ode to a Summer Dress, that appeared in The Wall Street Journal June 23, 2016 -- Congratulations!

Exhibitions


Poetry Since 1912: Books, Issues, & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation
An exhibit featuring books, periodicals, and ephemera from the working library of Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation. Items include books inscribed to staff by great poets of the times, rare and seminal issues of the famed poetry magazine, and relics from the Foundation’s storied history.

On view through Saturday, June 24, 2017




“...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.

Download the Spring 2017 Program Calendar (PDF)





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What's Happening

What's Happening

Rickey Laurentiis

Rickey Laurentiis at BMCC

Join us for a reading featuring poet Rickey Laurentiis, author of the critically acclaimed Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and the recipient...

April 25, 2017 - 4:00PM

Jay Deshpande

An Equal Music: Writing Poems from a Musical Influence with Jay Deshpande

Poets are frequently influenced by a favorite musician or song. Sometimes it’s Bob Dylan’s lyrics, the aesthetics of the blues, or the emotional sweep of Mahler that we want to carry to the page. But how do we make...

April 11, 2017 - 6:00PM to 8:30PM

Rickey Laurentiis

Necessary Cuts: Rickey Laurentiis on Revision at Poets House

Though Paul Valéry claimed “a poem is never finished, only abandoned,” what happens between a poem’s creation and its abandonment is revision. Examining "Southern Cross" by Carl Phillips, "Look" by Solmaz Sharif, "...

April 26, 2017 - 7:00PM

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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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SUPPORT POETS HOUSE

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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  • Tue Apr 25

    Join us for a reading featuring poet Rickey Laurentiis, author of the critically...

    Wed Apr 26

    Though Paul Valéry claimed “a poem is never finished, only abandoned,” what happens between a poem’s...

    Thu Apr 27

    Discover poetry! Join young readers and writers along with special guests for an afternoon of readings and...

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

    Hours

    Library & Reading Room
    Tues–Fri, 11:00am–7:00pm
    Sat, 11:00 am–6:00pm

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


    Map, Directions & Parking Information