Reading Series

Photo by Ted Roeder
Photo by Ted Roeder

Since its founding in 1966, the Poetry Project has been a forum for public literary events and a resource for writers. Over the past five decades, thousands of poets, writers and performers have shared their work here. With three distinct reading/performance series, plus talks and special events, the Poetry Project is a vital and hospitable hub for the writing community in New York City.

Now in its 52nd season, the Poetry Project continues to be a premiere venue for poets, writers, artists and performers whose work is experimental, innovative and pertinent to writing that proposes fresh aesthetic, cultural, philosophical and political approaches to contemporary society.

The Poetry Project’s Reading Series

While the boundaries between each of the Project’s reading series are permeable, in general, the weekly Wednesday Night Reading Series features nationally/internationally recognized poets as well as those of local renown. The biweekly Monday Night Reading Series serves as a forum for emerging poets as well as the open-mic readings. The biweekly Friday Night Reading Series provides space for poets and artists whose work is multidisciplinary. The quarterly talk series has been formally dissolved and all three series will now include talks as part of their usual programming.

Admission

General admission: $8

Students/Seniors: $7
Members: $5 or free
-No one turned away for inability to pay-

“How Do I Get A Reading?”

Participation in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night events at The Poetry Project — from two or three person readings, book launches, special events, and The New Year’s Day Marathon — is through invitation by coordinators and committees. We are also always excited to hear new voices, and there are many ways to get involved with The Poetry Project and share your work.

Twice a year we host Workshop Readings, open to everyone who participated in our five- and ten-session workshops, to celebrate the writing they created there.

Twice a year we also host Mimeo Mic, where we select 20 readers (ten per event) from an open applicant pool to present their work. Following in the tradition of Open Readings and the mimeo logic of making poetry as available as possible to as many people as possible, these events are designed to create a platform for poets to deepen their connection with The Poetry Project community, whether they are introducing their work for the first time or have been around from the beginning but want to participate in a new way. Everyone is encouraged to apply to read. We accept submissions in August and December. To apply to read, send a work sample (5 poems or 15 pages max with your first and last name in the file name) to info@poetryproject.org with “Mimeo Mic” in the subject line.

Near the end of each season, we also host a Volunteer & Intern Potluck and Reading, where the brilliant poets who make our events possible every week by stacking chairs, selling books, pouring wine, and so much more take the stage to share their work. All volunteers and interns are invited to read, and everyone is encouraged to come out to support and celebrate their work.

Coordinator appointments change every two years to ensure diversity of perspective.

Curatorial Statements from the Poetry Project Series Coordinators 2018-2019

This season we’re asking what can be learned across generations and communities of poetry. We’re thinking about how poems can transfer information and practices across time, place, and experience. We’re thinking about poetic mentorship and friendship, about what’s ghostly and bracing when we sit together in a room and let a poem rearrange us. There’s necessity in this undoing—something, thankfully, the Poetry Project has been dedicated to for more than fifty years.

The Wednesday Series includes a number of events honoring poets who have pushed in countless directions the possibilities of poetry. We also have a number of events featuring poets doing this work today, exploring—from multiple positions—the implications of state violence, diaspora, inequity, and more. This season celebrates the remarkable history and future of the Poetry Project, the many lineages we ultimately preserve by virtue of our changes. – KYLE DACUYAN, EXECUTIVE Director & Wednesday Night Readings Coordinator

Labor entering language like infinity; consciousness emanating from the bodymind; scholars centering refusal; human creators obsessed with interbeing. Among poets I seek intellectuals whose primary concern is communication. My spirit revels in our existential commitment to modes of being that might endure. We are seeking our most ancient selves, even as the end of the future approaches. Quietly, from our beloved margin, we annotate, we undo. – ADJUA GREAVES, Monday Night ReadingS Coordinator

There are decades of poetic traditions, individual and collective voices, brimming from the walls of the parish hall. The Friday night series brings writers, artists, critics, performers, and audiences together in an uncontainable assembly. We’d like our series to juxtapose worlds, languages, and publics as a way of grappling with the politics and aesthetics informing our readers’ work, their intersections, differences, and shared vocabularies. Collaboratively curated, our Friday night series is always already in translation, and we host readers from here and elsewhere to invite resonances across practices, open and press urgent dialogues, build a space for shared struggles. We’re holding out for writing which has the potential to make things otherwise. We want to engage in hard listening by de-centering all too familiar narratives, worlds, and languages; because that’s one way to make the room small, be in the hold together, immediately present to each other. MIRENE ARSANIOS & RACHEL VALINSKY, Friday Night Reading CoordinatorS