An afternoon spent in silence? A-Z? The cosmic order of Borges' library of the imagination? Whatever the duration, extent, or dimensions of your perfect library, this day-long symposium will delight and inform as it winds through the many roles libraries take on in the community of readers and in the imagination, as collection, as shared intellectual and physical space, and as the symbol of shared knowledge.
Lynn Emanuel looks at the architecture of a book of poems, assessing its potential as a poetic form. Focusing on the structure of Langston Hughes Selected Poems, and other works by poets and novelists with whom she has had a lifelong obsession, Emanuel discusses why and how she puts this page next to that page and thinks about the book, rather than the poem, as a unit of meaning and expression. Discover the personal and artistic imperatives that inform this capacious poets work.
Poets House welcomes five poets from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa for an evening of readings and conversation. This event explores various cultural spaces that poetry occupies, internationally and domestically. Director of the International Writing Program, Christopher Merrill introduces visiting poets Johanna Aitchison (New Zealand), Anas Atakora (Togo), Matthew Cheng (Hong Kong), Yao Feng (Macau), and Marie Silkeberg (Sweden).
Rescheduled from October 29
In this artist talk, playwright, poet and filmmaker Liwaa Yazji discusses her art-making as a means of exploring broadly the way people relate to the unknown and endure crisis, sharing work created this fall while in residency as a CEC ArtsLink Fellow at Poets House. To accompany her first book of poetry, Peacefully, we leave home (2014), she directed a documentary film that examines the reflexive relationship between individuals and their homes, particularly during wartime.
Poetry is central to Arabic cultural expression. Contemporary Arabic poetry reflects the whirl of events sweeping across the Middle East -- mourning tragedy, criticizing societal expectations, and engaging fierce political discourse. Robyn Creswell, scholar of the poetry and intellectual history of the Middle East, and Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail, recipient of the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing, discuss poetry as a way to understand contemporary Arab society.
In her only New York City event for two books newly published this year, Jane Hirshfield, one of the foremost poets of her generation and a master illuminator of poetic craft, will read from The Beauty (poems) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (essays). This will be followed by a conversation with the audience about the ways poetic language, attention, and word-craft navigate and enlarge both personal and shared existence.
Earlier this year, Jerome Rothenberg’s Barbaric Vast & Wild: An Assemblage of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present was published as the twelfth and culminating volume in his formative series on ethnopoetics, begun nearly a half century ago with Technicians of the Sacred (1968). Join Rothenberg as he steps back to reconsider what holds these works together and what the future might be for this omnipoetics, theoretically moving toward a final, perhaps unobtainable, “anthology of everything.”
Myths of African, Asian, Greek, and Roman origin are embedded in World literature, not only as metaphor and moral, but as a measure of humanity’s intrinsic faults or heroism. This workshop will explore timeless myths as a means to discuss modern political, social and spiritual issues through poetry. Poets might consider the risk of flying too high or the folly of flying too low with Icarus. Poets might ask T’ao Ch’ien to lead the residents of Ferguson to the idyllic Peach Blossom Spring.