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Celebrating Service to Poetry: A Letter from Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti

As Poets House closes out its 30th Anniversary, we focus on epic traditions and long poems from around the world and across time, exploring the impulse to find poetic language to encompass the broadest range of history and experience.

The first written poems we have are records of oral expression. It is interesting to note that writing is a technology that is relatively new—from 5,000 years ago. Poetry, whether oral or written, brings our own lives and the lives of others into focus. It can transform the quotidian experience of language—of texts, emails, news reports—into an expanded awareness that stretches beyond our own immediate expediencies.

Poets House was built to support poetry as a pathway to our interconnectedness, and it continues to be built with an ethos that supports multiplicity—welcoming students, practitioners, and seekers of all kinds. Poets House aims to honor the agency of the single voice and the collective power of voices of poets gathered together—as a chorus, as a conversation, as a movement.

Thank you! This 70,000-volume poetry collection and literary center is a national treasure you have helped to build as a gift for others through your artistry, energy, books, and financial support. Without your help, this kind of open and welcoming space for learning would not exist.