Beginning in February 2005 , Staten Island teens and adults will be doing what Poetry in The Branches was designed for: bumping into poetry and discovering its delights. The pilot year of this program will see Staten Island branches of The New York Public Library hosting six poetry-writing workshops for teens, and, for adults, a series of readings by stellar poets of their own and their favorite poets’ work. On a Spring afternoon or evening, when a trip on the ferry adds an extra note of pleasure to your day, come hear these readings.
Lorca names the dark, unpredictable, often dangerous energy that art sometimes channels as Duende: “daemon, hobgoblin, keeper of the mystery, the roots fastened in the mire that we all know and all ignore.” This course will examine the duende’s presence in contemporary American poetry, including works by Langston Hughes, James Dickey, Rita Dove, and Li-Young Lee. Through writing exercises and assignments, you’ll also get the push to wrestle with your own dark forces.
Come Shelebrate the life and work of the beloved barefoot troubadour Shel Silverstein with poets Jan Heller Levi, Annie Wright, and Mike Romanos. Musician DB Leonard will perform some of Shel's songs and we'll watch a special slide show of cartoons. Don't forget to bring your favorite poem to read at our open mic!
This workshop will explore the range of representations of the body in poetry and related topics such as identity, death, power, and eroticism. Assigned writing will focus on the use of written texts as vehicles for the senses. Readings include excerpts from Pablo Neruda, Agha Shahid Ali, and Sylvia Plath.
Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams have far more in common than their adherents sometimes acknowledge. The shared territory includes their interest in American idiom, and what Frost calls "sentence sounds," as fundamental. Beyond that profound matter of speech at the heart of poetry—and American speech at the heart of their artistic enterprise—Frost and Williams both struggle with the tangled, aspiring, somewhat demented project of American memory.