Upcoming at Poets House

by-mark-woodsPoets House has released its winter/spring 2010 schedule, and while I like poetry—seriously, I even subscribe to Poetry magazine!—I don’t know enough about it (which is to say I have a hard time remembering poets’ names) to feel comfortable singling any event out. Worth noting, however: Ecopoetic Futures, a series of events that examine poetry and the environment.

Then again, Poets House is also an ideal spot to curl up with any book, particularly on a day like today. It’s at 10 River Terrace (at Murray), in Battery Park City; 212-431-7920, poetshouse.org.


Master Class with Marie Ponsot
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27–28: Marie Ponsot’s recent books include The Bird Catcher, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry; Springing: New and Selected Poems; and Easy. $390, space is limited. Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 12. For details, see poetshouse.org.

On Modern Poetry: Public Seminars with Michael Heller
Poet, essayist and critic, Michael Heller is the author of Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Work of George Oppen, among many other books. 
Admission for each session: $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.
• Saturday, Feb. 20: The Foundations of Modern and Contemporary Poetry with Michael Heller. 
This seminar will cover the poetry and prose of Whitman, Dickinson, Pound, Frost, Williams and Stevens, with reference to the intellectual and cultural environment in which modern poetry arose.
Saturday, Feb. 27: “No Ideas but in Things”: Developments, Diversities, Dispersions, Disavowals with Michael Heller. This seminar will explore traceries, inflections and influences of the early modernist poets on the poetry that came after, with some reflections on shape and form in contemporary poetry. Readings include Zukofsky, Oppen, Moore, Niedecker, Harlem Renaissance poets, Olson, Black Mountain and Beat Poetry.


Imagining Louisiana: A Conversation & Reading with Darrell Bourque & Sheryl St. Germain
Thursday, Mar. 11: Two Louisiana poets discuss the history, challenges and future of Louisianan poetry, examining the influence of culture and landscape as well as the work of Cajun and Creole poets. Moderated by James Tolan. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Lyric Persuasions: A Conversation with Rae Armantrout & Norman Fischer
Tuesday, Mar. 16: Poet Rae Armantrout and Zen Buddhist priest and poet Norman Fischer investigate new and old concepts of the lyric, using their own poems as jumping-off points. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

“How Does a Bird Imagine? What Does a Tree Know?” An Exhibition of Community-Created Poetic Spaces
Opening reception: Saturday, Mar. 20, 3 p.m.–5 p.m. On view through Saturday, May 29. For all ages, this exhibition documents the creation of poetic spaces by a public-school community in response to images of landscape and shared journeys: a bird, a tree, a labyrinth. (A related event, It’s About Nature, takes place on May 1.) Free

The Green Man: An Exhibition
Opening reception: Saturday, Mar. 20, 3 p.m.–5 p.m. On view through Saturday, May 29. This series of paintings by British-born poet and painter Basil King depicts the Green Man, the pre-Christian archetypal figure of creation and the earth, emerging in the guise of British historical figures, such as Guy Fawkes and Walter Raleigh. Free.

The Green Man: A Panel with Carolyn Dinshaw, Michael Hrebeniak, Basil King & Thomas Meyer
Tuesday, Mar. 23, 7 p.m.: Poets Basil King and Thomas Meyer join scholars Carolyn Dinshaw and Michael Hrebeniak for a discussion of the Green Man—the mythic figure that incorporates elements of nature and humanity—from medieval architecture and lore to 21st-century interpretations. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.


Black Nature: A Panel & Poetry Reading with Camille T. Dungy, Sean Hill, Yusef Komunyakaa & Evie Shockley
Saturday, April 3, panel at 2:30 p.m., reading at 4 p.m.: Contributors to the landmark anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry gather for conversation and readings. Cosponsored by Cave Canem. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members and Cave Canem fellows.

Spain’s Bard: Jesús Aguado with Electa Arenal & Beatrix Gates
Tuesday, Apr. 13, 7 p.m.: Award-winning Spanish poet Jesús Aguado is joined by his English language translators for a bilingual reading and conversation about Iberian poetry, translation and Aguado’s work. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Texts to Argue Through: A Conversation with John D’Agata, Thalia Field & Jena Osman
Friday, Apr. 16, 7 p.m.: Essayist John D’Agata, cross-genre writer Thalia Field and experimental poet Jena Osman trace how research-based projects can evolve into book-length lyric essays and serial poems. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Nordic Voices: A Reading & Conversation with Jörgen Gassilewski, Anna Hallberg & Jonas J. Magnusson
Wednesday, Apr. 21, 12:30 p.m.: Young Swedish poets Jörgen Gassilewski and Anna Hallberg read their work and talk with conceptual artist and translator Jonas J. Magnusson. Free.

A Civil Feast of Jazz & Poetry with Poet Afaa Michael Weaver & Jazz Musicians Harold Anderson, Bill Lowe & Stan Strickland
Wednesday, Apr. 21, 7 p.m.: Poet Afaa Michael Weaver and acclaimed musicians perform jazz pieces and recitals of Weaver’s poems, followed by conversation about music and verse. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

The Opening of the Field: A Conversation with Nalini Nadkarni & Leonard Schwartz
Thursday, Apr. 22, 7 p.m.: Rainforest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni and poet Leonard Schwartz examine how poetic and scientific understandings of nature might be combined to inspire ecological stewardship. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

The Opening of the Field: Workshops with Nalini Nadkarni (Friday only) and Leonard Schwartz
Friday, Apr. 23, 7 p.m.–9 p.m., and Saturday, Apr. 24, 2 p.m.–5 p.m.: These poetry workshops with rainforest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni and poet Leonard Schwartz introduce the surprisingly creative language used by scientists to describe ecology and explore commonalities between literary texts and ecosystems. $200, pre-registration required; 212-431-7920 or classes@poetshouse.org.

The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry with Maria Isabel Alfonso, Lourdes Gil, James Irby, Mark Weiss & Christopher Winks
Tuesday, Apr. 27, 7 p.m.: On the occasion of the publication of The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry, editor Mark Weiss, contributors and translators explore major trends in Cuban poetry, both and off the island. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Nox: From Box to Book with Anne Carson & Currie
Thursday, Apr. 29, 7 p.m.: With artistic collaborator Currie, poet Anne Carson discusses and reads from Nox, her illustrated “book in a box” that elegizes the loss of her brother with photos, collages, sketches and poetry written through the lens of her translation of Catullus. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.


It’s About Nature: Children’s Learning & the Poetic Experience with Richard Lewis
Saturday, May 1, 2 pm: Richard Lewis converses with artists, teachers and parents about creating poetic spaces as a means of inspiring community and creative responsiveness to the environment. (See the related exhibition above “How Does a Bird Imagine? What Does a Tree Know?” An Exhibition of Community-Created Poetic Spaces, which opens March 20). Free

Annual Chapbook Festival
Monday and Tuesday, May 3–4, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.: Now in its second year, this two-day national festival of workshops and readings celebrates the microbook. Cosponsored by the MFA Programs in Creative Writing of the City University of New York; the Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY; the Center for Book Arts; the Poetry Society of America; and Poets & Writers. At The CUNY Graduate Center. For more information: centerforthehumanitiesgc.org/festival. Free

Close Observation: The Poetics of Flora & Fauna. A Reading & Conversation with Diane Ackerman & Kimiko Hahn
Wednesday, May 5, 7 p.m.: Diane Ackerman, acclaimed essayist and author of Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day, talks with Kimiko Hahn, author of Toxic Flora and other poetry collections, about the role of environmental issues and science in their writing. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Chile’s Dante: An Evening with Raúl Zurita & Anna Deeny
Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m.: The uncompromising Chilean poet Raúl Zurita reads from his work and talks with Anna Deeny, the English language translator of his volume Purgatory. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Praises & Offenses: Women Poets from the Dominican Republic
Tuesday, May 11, 7:00pm: Dominican poets Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo and Angela Hernández Núñez are joined by their English-language translator, Judith Kerman, and scholar Linda M. Rodriguez Guglielmoni for a reading and conversation. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Ecopoetics After Copenhagen with Jonathan Skinner
Wednesday, May 12, 7:00–9:00pm: Poetry & Biodiversity: A Seminar with Jonathan Skinner. In recognition of the International Year of Biodiversity, this seminar with poet and ecocritic Jonathan Skinner looks at current poetics and cultures of biodiversity, including forest languages and invasive activity in disturbed ecosystems. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Poetry & Watersheds: A Seminar with Jonathan Skinner
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m.–9 p.m.: Poet and ecocritic Jonathan Skinner examines how poets are responding to our relationship to water, taking into account emerging science, politics, and social and ecological inequities. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Urban Field Poetics: A Writing Workshop with Jonathan Skinner
Saturday, May 15, 1 p.m.–5 p.m.: Building on the concerns uncovered in Skinner’s two previous seminars, this workshop is an ecopoetics field audit that focuses on Poets House’s location along the Hudson River and introduces site-based writing. A poet and editor of the journal ecopoetics, Jonathan Skinner teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at Bates College. $140, Pre-registration required; 212-431-7920 or email classes@poetshouse.org.

Back Home: A Conversation & Reading with Maurice Manning & Norman Minnick
Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m.: Poets Maurice Manning and Norman Minnick share poems, tall tales and conversation about the nature of Kentucky poetry, from the lyric to the comic. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Language of the Neighborhood: Chinese Poetry Today with Arthur Sze & Lucas Klein
Tuesday, May 18, 7 p.m.: Poet, translator and editor of the new volume Chinese Writers on Writing, Arthur Sze reads and discusses modern and contemporary Chinese poetry with scholar and translator Lucas Klein. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Sweethearts of Rhythm: An Evening with Marilyn Nelson & Jerry Pinkney
Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m.: Acclaimed poet Marilyn Nelson and artist Jerry Pinkney, winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal, discuss their collaborative book, Sweethearts of Rhythm, which profiles the all-female, interracial band of the 1940s. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Ecopoetical Futures: A Panel with Marcella Durand, Brenda Iijima, Ted Mathys & Tyrone Williams
Tuesday, May 25, 7 p.m.: Four emerging poets investigate how poetry might marshal diverse languages, ethnicities and identities to engage with a global ecosystem under duress. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

Elements & Energies: Robert Hass & Brenda Hillman on Poetry, Ecology & Environmental Action
Thursday, May 27, 7 p.m.: Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and Brenda Hillman, author of eight lauded collections, share their experiences of activism and writing in response to the natural world. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

An Ethics Occurs at the Edge / of What We Know: A Seminar with Brenda Hillman
Saturday, May 29, 1 p.m.–3 p.m.: Author of Practical Water, among other poetry books, Brenda Hillman discusses poetry and activism, writing about the elements and ecopoetics, and the writing process in relation to political commitment and spiritual ideas. $25, $20 for students and seniors, $15 for Poets House members.

Robert Hass & Brenda Hillman in the Great Outdoors: A Reading
Saturday, May 29, 4 p.m.: This reading inaugurates Poets House’s outdoor courtyard in the new South Teardrop Park. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.


What Love Comes To: A Celebration of Ruth Stone with Chard deNiord, Toi Derricotte, Marie Howe, Maxine Kumin, Dorianne Laux, Sharon Olds, Bianca Stone and Hillery Stone
Tuesday, June 8, 7 p.m.: In honor of Ruth Stone’s 95th birthday, friends and fellow poets read from the acclaimed poet’s volume What Loves Comes To: New and Selected Poems. $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

The 15th Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge to Benefit Poets House
Monday, June 14, 6:30 p.m.: Join us for this annual pilgrimage across one of New York City’s great architectural gems. Leading poets read the words of Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes and other greats en route. The journey closes with a celebratory dinner and presentation of the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry. Tickets begin at $250 ($225 for Poets House Members). All proceeds benefit Poets House. Reservations are required. For details or to make reservations, contact Krista Manrique at 212-431-7920, ext. 2830, or krista@poetshouse.org.


Master Classes
• Master Class with Marie Howe: May 1–2
• Master Class with Robert Hass: May 30
Master Class with Quincy Troupe: June 5-6

Reading, Writing & Making: Open-Enrollment Seminars & Workshops
• Listening, Recording, Writing with Stacy Doris: March 13–14
Poetry & the City with Phillip Lopate: March 27–28
• Orbiting the World with Max Blagg: March 23–April 27
Visual Poetry with Jen Bervin: March 24–April 28
The Elegy with Bhisham Bherwani: March 25–April 29

For application details, visit www.poetshouse.org.
Photograph by mark-woods.com, courtesy Poets House.


1 Comment

  1. “Photo Exhibit Showcases Black Poets” Please read it at http://wp.me/pC3Xj-cW