A Kashmiri-American, Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001) was a gifted poet, an inspired translator and scholar, and a generous, ebullient spirit in the world of contemporary American poetry. Among his poetry collections are A Nostalgist's Map of America, The Country Without a Post Office and, just published this year, Rooms Are Never Finished.
Robert Bly is one of our country's most beloved poets. Over the span of his career as a writer, critic and translator, he has introduced a wide range of international poetries and practices to American poetics. His newest poetry books are Eating the Honey of Words: New & Selected Poems and The Night Abraham Called to the Stars. He recently launched a literary magazine, The Thousands.
The genius of Henry Darger—a reclusive Chicago janitor now recognized as one of the most important outsider artists of the 20th Century—is visited through the poetry of John Ashbery and critical work of novelist A.M. Homes. Readings from Darger’s epic, In the Realms of the Unreal, and an introduction by poet and art critic David Shapiro, make this event an essential companion to the museum’s comprehensive exhibition of Darger’s work.
Inspired by the feminist and civil rights movements, many 20th century women poets adopted an “I”-empowered poetics that intertwined personal and public worlds. By the end of the millennium, fragmentation and polyphony appeared in poetry as a response to the notion of “I”-dentity as constructed by class, religion, race and sexual preference. Is the exploration of a woman’s everyday “personal experience” in poetry still a political act? What are the challenges of writing a poetry that destabilizes gender and diffuses the self?
Poet Lorine Niedecker (1903–1970) lived most of her life on Blackhawk Island in rural Wisconsin. However, she was not isolated from the avant-garde poetry practices of her time. A life-long correspondent of Louis Zukofsky’s, Niedecker established her own “condensory” of poetic language.
Showcase On View June 27- August 17
There is no better way to get an overview of the art of poetry than at this free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year from over 650 commercial, university, and independent presses.
A reading by the 10 poets in Poets House’s second annual Emerging Poets Fellowship program: Mahogany Browne, Jessica Elsaesser, Paul Hlava, Rosamond King, Elsbeth Pancrazi, Montana Ray, Andrew Seguin, Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová, Purvi Shah and Ocean Vuong (Full Audio, approx. 1 hr. 20 mins)
In celebration of the centenary of May Swenson’s birth, this reading showcases the breadth of her poetic output—from nature poems displaying her keen observation of wildlife, to exuberant, erotic love poems, to place poems recording her travels to the American Southwest, France and Italy and her residence in New York.