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Hard Hat Reading Series


In August 2021, Poets House at 10 River Terrace suffered a major flood.

While we rebuild, we invite you to check out the ongoing Hard Hat Reading Series, featuring poetry readings by members of the Poets House community.

Posted on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and our site.

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Patricia Spears Jones

Drawing inspiration from her 1995 Poets House Showcase reading, poet, educator, and activist Patricia Spears Jones reads from her first collection, The Weather That Kills, and from The Only World by the late Lynda Hull.


Poet Rosebud Ben-Oni reads Dorothy Chan’s “Hello Baby, Hello Sir” and her own poem “The Songs We Know Not to Talk Over” from her award-winning book If This Is the Age We End Discovery.


Martha Rhodes Hard Hat Reading

Watch Martha Rhodes, poet and co-founder of Four Way Books, read Nathan McClain’s “Fire Destroys Beloved Chicago Bakery” and a new poem of her own.


José Olivarez Hard Hat Reading

José Olivarez—poet, performer, educator, and former Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow—reads Manuel Paul López’s poem “There Is a Hole in My Living Room” and his own poem “Ode to Cheese Fries” from his book Citizen Illegal.


Hard Hat reading with Kimiko Hahn

Poet and distinguished professor Kimiko Hahn reads from Meena Alexander’s Night-Scene, The Garden and her own newest book Foreign Bodies, amidst the construction at Poets House.


Laure-Anne Bosselaar—award-winning poet, translator, and educator—reads Lee Briccetti’s “Distance,” from Blue Guide, and her own poem “On a Bench by the Hudson,” from her collection A New Hunger.


Naomi Shihab Nye Hard Hat Reading

Naomi Shihab Nye—prolific author, editor, and Young People’s Poet Laureate—reads her mentor William Stafford’s “A Bird Inside a Box” and two recent poems of her own.


Poet and teaching artist Shyanne Figueroa Bennett reads from Aracelis Girmay’s book the black maria and shares her own recent poem “LAKE GATÚN,” first published in Issue Six of Oversound.


Watch Bob Holman—poet, filmmaker, and founder of the Bowery Poetry Club—as he reads June Jordan’s “Financial Planning” and his own poem “We Are the Dinosaur” from his book The Collect Call of the Wild.


Watch former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy K. Smith present Jericho Brown’s “After Avery R. Young” and her own “Found Poem” from her recent book Such Color.


Interim Director Cornelius Eady—poet, musician, and educator—performs Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats” and his own poem “The Ghost, The Mountain” from his book Hardheaded Weather.


Hard Hat reading with Monica Youn

Kick off the Hard Hat Reading series with Monica Youn—poet, educator, and Poets House Board Member—as she reads from A Woman’s Mourning Song by bell hooks and her own recent book Blackacre.


Meet Interim Director Cornelius Eady—poet, musician, and co-founder of Cave Canem—for a virtual hard hat tour around the Poets House space. This tour marks the launch of our Under Construction blog.