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Poets House Reopening FAQ

 

Hi! We’re glad you’re here, and we hope to answer all of your questions. Below are the questions we’ve been getting most frequently. If you have a question that doesn’t appear here, please use the form at the bottom of this page to submit your question to us directly; we’ll do our best to get you a response as quickly as possible. 

 

Is Poets House open?

Poets House is currently closed to the public. Cornelius Eady has joined us as Interim Executive Director while the organization conducts a listening process to inform a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. Longtime Executive Director Lee Briccetti retired in September, handing the reins to Eady, who will oversee a listening process during this period of reimagining and restructuring.

 

What’s a listening process?

As Poets House continues to develop its strategic plan and looks to restructure for a more sustainable future, placing the library at the center of its service, we are reaching out to a broad swath of our community in order to integrate their feedback into our reimagining of the organization. The search for a new Executive Director will be directly informed by the information we gather throughout this process. 

 

How can I stay involved at Poets House during the closure?

Stay tuned as we offer ongoing updates from Interim Executive Director Cornelius Eady via the blog on our website. We’re excited to keep you in the loop as rebuilding and restructuring progresses.

 

Why did the library close?

In March 2020, the library closed to the public due to the pandemic, and staff were kept on to work remotely. Like many literary organizations, Poets House suffered significant financial deprivation as a result of the pandemic. It became increasingly clear that the emergency fund created by the board would be depleted before additional funding would become available, and that the organization would be unable to continue to keep staff on indefinitely. In November of 2020, the board made the difficult decision to lay off the staff while there were remaining funds to cover severance packages and see to the ongoing maintenance of the space and collections. 

 

I heard that the library flooded. What happened to the books?

The building at 10 River Terrace suffered a major flood in August, 2021. Miraculously, almost no books or materials were harmed as a result of the flood. However, there was extensive damage to the space, which is in the process of being repaired. 

 

When will the library reopen?

Construction and cleanup is underway following the August flood. We anticipate that the physical space will be ready for the public in mid- to late-2022. Meanwhile, Poets House is embarking on a simultaneous rebuilding of its organizational structure and leadership. The listening process we will conduct in the new year will inform the board’s search for a new Executive Director.

 

Will my donation go to the mitigation of the flood and rebuilding of the space?

Much of the repair work to be done will be covered by insurance, but there are aspects of space renewal that won’t be. Your help is needed to achieve all of the goals outlined by our Interim Director.

 

Will you be offering any programming while the library is closed?

Yes! We are looking forward to launching remote programming in the new year.

 

Are you accepting books?

Yes! We’re so glad you asked. We are particularly interested in receiving books from 2020, 2021, and 2022, and can accept a small number of additional older volumes; please hold off on larger donations, as we have limited storage space due to construction. If you have questions about whether your donation is suitable at this time, please contact us at support@poetshouse.org.

 

A book I sent you came back undeliverable. Are you still there? 

We’re sorry about that! This is likely due to postal error. Due to the August flood, there is construction underway at 10 River Terrace, and new delivery people can get confused. If you are willing, please resend.

 

Can I bring my class for a field trip?

At the moment, the library is closed for construction following the August flood. We will be posting ongoing updates via our blog

 

Can I intern/volunteer? 

Unfortunately, it is too dangerous for volunteers to work in the space while construction is ongoing. If you would like to help out remotely, please email us at support@poetshouse.org.

 

Will there be a Bridgewalk in 2022?

We hope to be able to coordinate a Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge—or other benefit event—in the fall of 2022. Please stay tuned for more updates.

 

Do you have a question we haven’t covered here? Submit it via the form below, and we’ll respond to you directly.

 

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