Writing Away from the Surface with Patricia Smith

This workshop will be composed of discussion and exercises designed to write toward darkness, secrecy, trauma, regret and, eventually, insight. Few poets actually heed the time-worn advice to "write what you know." Instead, we scrape stories from the surface of our lives, while ignoring the uncomfortable truths that we mistakenly believe have been paved over and forgotten. Writers are among the fortunate few who have access to the whole of their lives. This workshop will teach us not to be afraid of that blessing.

Breaking Through: A Generative Workshop for All

Do you want to begin writing poetry for the first time? Or resume writing after a period of silence? Or write in a different way than you have been? Or, do you want to write but can't find the time or way to begin? Then register for this class. We'll experience some peaceful silence and practice receptivity. We'll also write together in class and read amazing poems written by other people. Employing syntax, diction, image, metaphor—techniques learned by reading—we'll write poems that bring us somewhere we never thought to go.

Poetic City: A Poets House Celebration

This pre-house-warming party celebrates our almost-ready, eco-friendly home in Battery Park City (see “The Green Future of Poets House” on page X) and the grand metropolis of New York, which has attracted poets to its shores for generations. Come gather on our new front lawn, just steps from the Hudson River, for a reading by poetic luminaries. A pre-reading tour of local literary and cultural sights begins at 6:00pm in Rockefeller Park at the pavilion, the same site as the reading.

The House That Jack Built: A Jack Spicer Symposium

6:30pm: A panel with Dodie Bellamy, Samuel Delaney, Peter Gizzi, Kevin Killian & Jennifer Moxley

8:00pm: A reading with Dodie Bellamy, Julian T. Brolaski, CA Conrad, Samuel Delaney, Peter Gizzi, Kevin Killian, Douglas A. Martin, Rod Smith, Lewis Warsh & Karen Weiser

Dark Surrealist: A Reading of Unica Zürn’s Poetry & Fiction

Acquainted with Henri Michaux, Hans Bellmer and various members of the Parisian circle of Surrealists, Unica Zürn (1916-1970) broke ground with her own anagrammatic poetry, expressionistic prose and chimerical drawings and paintings. Acclaimed novelists and poets read from her writings in conjunction with the exhibition, “Unica Zürn: Dark Spring,” on view at The Drawing Center from April 17 to July 23.

Celebrating Constantine P. Cavafy

This reading of Constantine P Cavafy's (1863-1933) elegiac, modernist poetry will feature new translations by essayist Daniel Mendelsohn, including the first English-language renderings of the poet’s unfinished works.

A Tribute to Reginald Shepherd

A beloved and admired poet, critic and teacher, Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008) inspired many with his passionate commitment to poetry, an art he viewed as inextricably connected to history, politics and everyday life. Raised in housing projects in the Bronx, he went on to publish five collections of poetry, two anthologies, and a collection of essays, Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry.

The Literary Universe: the Library in Poetry and the Imagination

From the perspectives of archivist, curator, editor, scholar, translator, writer and combinations thereof, a diverse group of poets (Catherine Bowman, Nancy Kuhl, Geoffrey O'Brien, Nathalie Stephens & Kevin Young) explores the vital role of the library in poetic creation and preservation as well as in the larger culture.

Fire in My Heart: Hannah Senesh

Featuring classical music, poetry and diary readings, this theatrical event honors Israel’s most important World War II hero, poet Hannah Senesh (1921–1944). Senesh, a Hungarian Jew who immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1939, joined the British Army in 1943 to help the Allied efforts and rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary. After parachuting into Yugoslavia, Senesh eventually crossed into her native Hungary, was imprisoned and executed by a firing squad.

Greek Avant-Garde: Demosthenes Agrafiotis

This evening marks the publication of new English translations of two books by experimental Greek poet and visual artist Demosthenes Agrafiotis: Chinese Notebook and Maribor. Michail Palaiologou, a composer who has collaborated with Agrafiotis, and John Sakkis, one of Agrafiotis’s English-language translators, join the poet for a performance and discussion of his work.


Subscribe to Poets House RSS