Listening as Practice

This class will take as given that listening is an inherent component of reading and writing poetry, that listening is a mode of performance (to read a poem to yourself is to perform that poem, however silently), and that listening is a skill, which means one’s ability to listen (and by extension attend to and develop a unique sense of prosody) can improve over time. Students will be encouraged to present and discuss their works-in-progress and generate new material. Sound patterning and structures of voice will be our guiding points of conversation.

The "I" in "Team": Persona, Dialect and the Lyric First Person

As readers we sometimes assume the “I” in a poem is the same as the poet’s me. The lyric poet may promote this illusion of spontaneous utterance and unmediated feeling. But the poet who believes the speaker in a poem is “me” may also be suffering an illusion that will mire the poem in mediocrity. How then do we reconcile the seeming contradictory demands of sincerity and craft? And how might the self be most evident in poems that foreground pretense and masquerade?

Trance Poetics: Activate Your Writing Mind

Participants will employ strategies for effortlessly generating new poems and revising older work, always with the intent of surprising themselves. Drawing from both avant-garde and epiphanic practices, students will be encouraged to break free of their usual processes in order to write the poems they never knew they wanted to write.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Publishing Poetry But Didn't Know Who or How to Ask

Doors open at 1:30pm for this program

This information-packed lecture by legendary Coffee House Press founder and publisher Allan Kornblum provides poets with practical guidance about preparing and submitting a poetry manuscript. Drawing on his years of experience working with contemporary poets, Kornblum offers valuable insights that any emerging poet needs to hear.

Toothpaste & Coffee House: Change and Continuity

Allan Kornblum, legendary founder and publisher of both Coffee House Press and Toothpaste Press, examines the history of poetry publishing from the clay tablet to digital imprints. Informed by his 40-year career in publishing, Kornblum explores the ways in which book-making shapes culture and imagines the future of literary publishing and independent presses.

Ships, Seas and Poetries!

Dylan Gauthier, Kendra Sullivan, A'yen Tran and friends of the boat-building collaborative Mare Liberum lead a workshop on how to sing shanties like a sailor, write poetry like a pirate, and build model boats like a shipwright learning the trade.

A'yen Tran is an artist, story collector, raft-builder and singing enthusiast. Currently, she is working on The Boat for Singing Together, a handmade sculptural raft for group singing in New York City.

Blown Away by Poetry

Help! Wendy Windstorm has terrible sneezes! Grumpy Harry’s poems blew away with her breezes! Wendy needs your super smarts to conquer alliteration, simile and more in this puppet adventure straight from Urban Stages.

Performed by Liz Parker and Rachel Sullivan

Imagination Islands

Mystical beasts, magical forests, lost treasure and more can be found in this island-making workshop. Children will create maps and poetic descriptions of distant unexplored islands for those daring enough to venture there.

Led by Poets House’s own Michael Romanos.

Floating Valentines

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Poets House presents Albert Lamorisse’s timeless children’s film classic The Red Balloon. Afterward, children will make their own floating valentines in the form of hot-air balloon mobiles. This is an annual Poets House Children’s Room happening.


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