We Are Open!
I’m so happy to share that this week, after many months of planning, demolition and reconstruction, Poets House is at last resuming regular operating hours, Tuesdays through Fridays from 11am to 7pm and Saturdays from 11am to 6pm. As of today, for the first time in almost four years, our entire collection of 80,000 books, journals, broadsides, and chapbooks will be once more available for the public to browse, entirely free of charge.
I think a lot about that number: 80,000. That’s 80,000 points of view; 80,000 new ways to tell a story; 80,000 moments of time, of emotional truth and clarity; 80,000 minds to explore; 80,000 visions and discoveries; 80,000 distillations of our shared humanity. And, finally, it’s 80,000 gifts from the heart, because every single one of those 80,000 books came to Poets House as a donation.
Poets House was built, quite literally, with the love of the community, and the story of this reopening is most of all a story of generosity and gratitude. So let me take this moment to express my gratitude to all of you for the love and support you’ve shown Poets House these past several years as we rebuilt. Your kindness is what made this reopening possible. I would like to extend a special thank you to the Battery Park City Authority for their generous support of our Reopening Celebration.
The last four years have been challenging, but every challenge is an opportunity, as the saying goes. Opportunities for innovative solutions, opportunities to build responsiveness and resiliency into the very bones of this organization. And over the next weeks and months, we will continue to find even more opportunities to make Poets House better, stronger, and more accessible to our community.
Four decades ago, Poets House was conceived as a place where anyone from any background could explore the wonders of language in a nurturing community full of conversation and discovery. Over the years, that original dream—the dream of a home for poetry—has grown from a few shelves in a high school classroom into our newly renovated permanent home in Battery Park City.
If poetry is an aperture for meaning, a focusing of language into shared significance, then Poets House is a temple to human grace, curiosity, and wonder. I couldn’t be more grateful to bring this treasure back for all to enjoy. I hope to see you here soon!
Yours in Community,
Rob Arnold, Executive Director
Reopening Celebration photographs by Cameron Blaylock: (top) Chairman Robert Kissane and Executive Director Rob Arnold cutting the ribbon. (Middle) Patrons peruse the stacks. (Bottom) President and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority Raju Mann delivers remarks, and Architect of the remodel Eirini Tsachrelia leads a tour. (Below) The Cornelius Eady Trio, Jayshawn Lee, Nicole Sealey, and Monica Youn perform their own work.