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Spring Highlights from Poets House Presents, our New Ten-Minute Reading Series

Poets House Presents, a series of ten-minute online readings and performances, brings poets from their homes to yours. Designed to make poetry and poets accessible in a virtual format, Poets House Presents began at the start of April, when many of us were overwhelmed or isolated—as we worked from home, cared for others, self isolated, or socially distanced in the wake of COVID-19.

So far, we’ve gathered over 30 ten-minute videos of poets and writers reading and performing their work. In these videos, poets, translators, or scholars—from U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in Tulsa, OK, to Garous Abdolmalekian in Tehran, Iran—introduce themselves and where they are reading from. Each reading features graphic images of texts as they are read.

Our hope is that these potent doses of poetry will offer hope and inspiration, whenever you are most in need. We invite you to explore all the many and various voices in the series, at your own pace. Here are 11 highlights to get you going:

Garous Abdolmalekian reads poems from his new book, Lean Against This Late Hour from Tehran, Iran with poet and translator Idra Novey in New York City and translator Ahmad Nadalizadeh in Eugene, OR.


Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation and the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, joins Poets House from Tulsa, OK to read recent work.


Ed Roberson, the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, Shelley Memorial Award, and LA Times Book Award, among other honors, reads ten brand new unpublished poems from his home in Bronzeville, Chicago, IL.


Vincent Toro joins Poets House from Fort Lee, NJ to read from his new collection Tertulia (Penguin Random House, 2020), which examines immigration, economics, colonialism, and race through the imagery of music, visual art, and history.


Tommy “Teebs” Pico, a Whiting Award winner and co-curator of the reading series Poets with Attitude, reads from his books Feed (Tin House, 2019), Junk (Tin House, 2018), and his National Book Award-winning collection Nature Poem (Tin House, 2017). Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he joins Poets House from Chumash, Tongva and Tataviam Territory (Los Angeles, CA), where he lives part of the year.


Multi-media artist, poet, and writer Rachel Eliza Griffiths joins Poets House from her home in New York City to read from her new book Seeing the Body (W. W. Norton, 2020).


Diane Glancy, winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, among other honors, has explored her Cherokee ancestry in her poetry, fiction, and cross-genre work. She reads from her latest book, Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job (Turtle Point Press, 2020), from her home in Shawnee Mission, KS.


Chen Chen reads from When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), long-listed for the National Book Award and winner the Thom Gunn Award; GESUNDHEIT! (Glass Poetry Press, 2019); and Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015), from Waltham, MA. An excerpt from Set the Garden on Fire will be featured on the Poets House Poetry Path in Battery Park City.


This bilingual program brings together legendary Beirut-born poet and painter Etel Adnan, with poet and translator Sarah Riggs in a collage of readings from Adnan’s Griffin Poetry Prize-winning Time, in French and English, alongside images of Adnan’s paintings.


Poet, performer, and cultural strategist Kay Ulanday Barrett reads from their new collection More Than Organs (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020), from Jersey City, NJ.


Poet and folklorist, educator, scholar and award-winning author exploring contemporary Creole culture in poems about Black New Orleans, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy reads from two of her books of poetry from her home in New Orleans, LA.


Nicole Wallace, the Managing Director of The Poetry Project and a member of the Indigenous Kinship Collective, joins Poets House from Lenapehoking (Brooklyn, NY) to read from her chapbook WAASAMOWIN (Imp, 2019) and new poetry from an upcoming work. She also shares a poem by Louise Erdrich (from Jacklight, 1984) and calls attention to the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWGT2S).


Presenting from Detroit, Michigan, performance artist, poet, and writer Gabrielle Civil performs remixed sequences from her forthcoming book of performance writing (ghost gestures) to be released by Gold Line Press in Fall 2020.

We welcome you to discover other Poets House Presents readings by clicking here!