Branching Out New Orleans: Ron Padgett on Frank O'Hara and Kenneth Koch

In 1949 Harvard undergraduate John Ashbery wrote to Kenneth Koch about the poetry of a fellow student, Frank O'Hara: "I think we have a major competitor." Shortly thereafter Ashbery sent Koch a manuscript of O'Hara's poems, which Koch found not very interesting. But he took it with him when he went to France on a Fulbright and, when he read the manuscript again on a train ride through Austria, he was staggered by its dazzling energy. Thus began an inspiring, competitive literary friendship that helped both Koch and O'Hara become two of the greatest American poets of the 20th century.

The Invention of Farewell: A Poets House Celebration

Join us as we bid a fond farewell to 72 Spring Street, Poets House's home of nearly 20 years, with readings and impromptu toasts by over 20 poets and a host of festivities to commemorate our beloved Soho home and the community of friends that have gathered here. Champagne and poetic delicacies will be served, as we usher in the momentous year that will bring us to our permanent home in Battery Park City.

A Night Out with the New York School

A multidisciplinary New York School soiree, featuring readings and performances by Kim Gordon, Wayne Koestenbaum, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, Yvonne Rainer and Carolee Schneemann.

Passwords: Maggie Nelson on Women and the New York School

Maggie Nelson sheds light on the trailblazing lives and artistry of Barbara Guest, Bernadette Mayer, Joan Mitchell, Eileen Myles and Alice Notley.

Part of Women and the New York School, an historic gathering that celebrates the myriad roles that women writers and artists have played in and around the "New York School" and expands our understanding of the vanguard circle that emerged in the 1940s and thrives in its second and third incarnations to this day.

Funded by the New York Council for the Humanities

Spinning Verses: Writing Workshop for Teens with Helen Frost

Helen Frost, the award-winning author of novels-in-verse for children and young adults, treats us to selections from her books and offers inspirational advice to young writers just starting out.

Poets House Pre-Holiday Book Sale

Give the gift of poetry—to yourself, your family and friends. Our pre-holiday sale offers thousands of books at bargain prices. All books are duplicate copies from our 50,000-volume collection and all proceeds benefit the permanent collection of Poets House.

Poets House Members are offered a head-start, with special Election Day sale hours: Vote first, then peruse our volumes of verse. Poetry is, as Emerson once put it, "a candidate for truth."

Poets House Pre-Holiday Book Sale

Give the gift of poetry—to yourself, your family and friends. Our pre-holiday sale offers thousands of books at bargain prices. All books are duplicate copies from our 50,000-volume collection and all proceeds benefit the permanent collection of Poets House.

Branching Out New Orleans: Edward Hirsch on Federico García Lorca

In his talk on Federico García Lorca's life and work, Edward Hirsch will explore Lorca's artistic sources, including native Andalusian music and the metaphorical style characteristic of the avant-garde Hispanic literary movement Ultraísmo, the intellectual community in which Lorca became a youthful prodigy, his complicated friendships with Salvador Dali and Luis Buñel, his place in Spanish literary history, his emotional and intellectual crises, and how he came to write what Hirsch considers to be one of the greatest books of poems ever written about New York City,

Branching Out Fresno: Kay Ryan on Emily Dickinson

The greatest iconoclasts don't set out to. Take Emily Dickinson. She just couldn't do some things as others did them. She couldn't seem to manage to get saved despite great pressure from revival-happy Amherst; she couldn't bend her talent to write poems in any way that her time could accept as poems; she couldn't want fame if it meant publishing; she couldn't trade the intensity of her own mind for the busyness beyond her gate.

Branching Out Hartford: Carol Muske-Dukes on Sylvia Plath

Talking about Sylvia Plath is like talking over loud-volume rock music in a bar. The popular "myth" and gossip surrounding Sylvia Plath and her husband, the British poet Ted Hughes, often drown out the actual voice of either poet. Sylvia Plath has been termed, perhaps erroneously, a "confessional" poet. The term "confessional" is frequently used to describe a group of poets writing in the 1950's (including Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton) who incorporated details of their personal lives in their writing.

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