The Poetry Project

Readings, Performances, and Events

Curatorial Statement

The Poetry Project’s full calendar of events is collaboratively curated by staff to present a range of perspectives, practices, generations, experiences, and communities. We endeavor to make space for unlikely confluence and generative encounter, and view gathering as much a mode of experimentation as poetry. Without circumscribing the poets, writers, and artists who share work at The Poetry Project, we pose frames of inquiry across each season of events to suggest points of relation and discussion across time.

The Poetry Project’s reading, performance, and event programming spans three primary series: the Monday Night Series for work from emerging writers; our headlining and longest-running series on Wednesday Nights; and the Friday Night interdisciplinary series. Beyond the programs in these series, The Project occasionally presents special lectures, conversations, community discussions, and other events.

Poets, readers, collaborators, friends: we are delighted to share with you events upcoming in The Poetry Project's 55th Anniversary Season. This spring season brings together a combination of digital and in-person programs, curated collaboratively by The Poetry Project staff and our current curatorial fellow, Ethan Philbrick.

We are ever interested in the possibility of poetic echolocation, asking in this moment, how do we learn where we are from the sounds that bounce back to us when we speak? How, in the sonic waves of absence and presence, distance and proximity, do we find each other? This season, we celebrate not only each unique voice of creative expression – quiet or thundering, future and past – but also the spirit of the listener, the politics, poetics, and metaphysics of listening. Rather than listening in the normative sense of hearing, we are interested in the experience of a much deeper connection, across distance and disability, towards critical consciousness, towards transformation. We are listening together for the sounds that are hard to hear, for the silences and whispers, for the songs that travel the air.

Our events this season are noted as either happening virtually or at St. Mark’s, with details on our event pages for registration, access, and safety practices. As we continue to update capacity and conditions for in-person gathering, please note that registration for our in-person events at St. Mark’s will open three weeks in advance of the event.

Song in an Expanding Field, curated by Ethan Philbrick, is a four-part series assembling artists who work with song as a malleable material for sonic and poetic experimentation. When song breaks with inherited forms and structures, it is often thought to cease to be song and become something else entirely: sound, improvisation, poem, performance, etc. This series gathers artists working at the edge of song and not-song to explore the significance and force of this expanded field of practice. Each evening pairs artists to share performances alongside one another before engaging in a conversation about the politics of song form and experimentation.

In addition to the performances, the series also includes a free online reading and discussion group about the poetics and politics of experimental song.

How Do I Get A Reading

We work toward a collective model of event curation from The Poetry Project’s staff of five, with a number of events guest-curated and hosted throughout the year. We welcome inquiries from poets, writers, and artists interested in sharing work at The Poetry Project. While we commit to reading and considering work submitted to us for event programming, we also note that we annually receive 50-75 inquiries, in addition to the events conceptualized by staff – with only 60-70 available dates each year. Beyond invitation to participate in two or three person readings, book launches, and The New Year’s Day Marathon, there are a number of 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 Microphone, 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. 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 mimeomic@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.

For more information or to be considered for a reading, direct queries to info@poetryproject.org.

Admission

General admission: $8
Students/Seniors: $7
Members: $5 or free
~No one turned away for inability to pay~

Programs

Elsewhere