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, listeners, accomplices, friends: we are delighted to share with you events upcoming at The Poetry Project for the Fall and Winter of 2021-22. Our season brings together a combination of digital and in-person programs, curated collaboratively by The Poetry Project’s staff and with this year’s Curatorial Fellows: Bryn Evans and Xime Izquierdo Ugaz y Edua Restrepo Castaño.

Swinging still between so much gathering and distance, optimism and uncertainty, this season of programming calls forth relation in all its shifting brilliances, failures, and complexities. What structures of aid have emerged, fallen away, evolved and from what intuition and necessity? What have been the applications and limitations of language to connect and break apart? And how do we complicate these sites further – what kinds of harm can premises of care deepen? Who does the work of it and at what cost?

We turn toward poets, performers, lecturers, and artists who differently render, in their work, an ever-central question of The Project: how are poetry and community mutually formed? We are gathering in new and old ways. But poetry continues to unsettle and expand, and surprise persists in our moments of shared attention.

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. Stay tuned as further programs get posted, and we look forward to being with you again soon.

gettin where we haveta be / sum'n other than a place

curated by Bryn Evans

The Poetry Project is excited to announce "gettin where we haveta be / sum'n other than a place,” programmed by Curatorial Fellow, Atlanta-based writer, critic, and curator Bryn Ashley Evans. A nod to two essays in Ntozake Shange’s lost in language and sound, the title points to the vernacular poetics and landscapes that comprise the American South and the African diaspora more broadly. The series will consider the homeplace as a site to and from which language can guide, bridge, and transform. More than a physical place, we will engage the home as an idea that must be grappled with and reconstituted when it is stolen, threatened, or fled. These events center the experiences of Black folks across the diaspora and are inspired by art’s capacity for repair, recovery, and relief in the midst of multiple ongoing genocides. Rooted in Black feminist theory and place-making, the events draw their focus from bell hooks’ idea of the homeplace as a site of resistance and liberation struggle.

WE ARE THE VISIBLE ONES / NOSOTRES SOMOS LES VISIBLES

CURATED BY / CON LA CURADURÍA DE XIME IZQUIERDO UGAZ Y EDUA RESTREPO-CASTAÑO

“We were the visible ones, the trans community,” Sylvia Rivera speaks about the Gay Pride March of 1970, during her iconic speech at the LGBTQ Center in 2001. Twenty years later these words still reverberate. Along with increased visibility of trans narratives in the media, we have seen a rise in violence and murders of trans and GNC individuals globally. While some legislative realities may differ from country to country, the different forms of trans-antagonism manifest everywhere. Even in the time of pandemia, we have had to mourn people across borders, victims of transphobic hate crimes.

What can it look like to enable a collective healing through testimony and visioning, beyond language and beyond borders?

We see language(s) as the basis for these interactions, as we also experience language as an aggressive tool for silencing, invalidating and erasing our existence. We understand that translation is poetry; a form of literally crossing over, word-bending and worldbuilding.

We are the Visible Ones brings together trans translators and language makers across Abya Yala. Word benders who are constantly mediating and creating new forms of enunciating ourselves within colonialist restrictive languages. Writers bridging dialogues not only about the shared forms of oppressions we experience in different territories, but also shared forms of resistance, creative magic and expression, trans time and future.

––

"Éramos las visibles, la comunidad trans", dice Sylvia Rivera sobre la Marcha del Orgullo Gay de 1970, durante su icónico discurso en el Centro LGBTQ en 2001. Veinte años después, estas palabras siguen resonando. Junto con el aumento de la visibilidad de las narrativas trans en los medios de comunicación, hemos visto un aumento de la violencia y los asesinatos de personas trans y GNC en todo el mundo. Aunque algunas realidades legislativas pueden diferir de un país a otro, las diferentes formas de trans-antagonismo se manifiestan en todas partes. Incluso en la época de la pandemia, hemos tenido que guardar luto por personas más allá de las fronteras, víctimas de crímenes de odio transfóbico.

¿Cómo puede ser posible una curación colectiva a través del testimonio y la visión, más allá de las lenguas y de las fronteras?

Consideramos que el/los lenguaje(s) es/son la base de estas interacciones, ya que también lo experimentamos como una herramienta agresiva para silenciar, invalidar y borrar nuestra existencia. Entendemos que la traducción es poesía; una forma de cruzar, literalmente, torcer palabras y construir mundos.

Nosotres Somos Les Visibles reúne a traductores y a creadores de lenguaje trans de todo Abya Yala. Personas que modifican las palabras, que arbitran y crean constantemente nuevas formas de enunciarse en las lenguas restrictivas del colonialismo. Escritores que tienden puentes de diálogo no sólo sobre las formas compartidas de opresión que experimentamos en diferentes territorios, sino también sobre las formas compartidas de resistencia, magia y expresión creativa, tiempo y futuro trans.

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.

Please note all indoor in-person programming has been suspended, and consequently we do not anticipate that the Workshop Readings, Mimeo Microphone program, and Volunteer & Intern Potluck and Reading will take place in the 2020–2021 season. For more information, read our Note on Covid-19

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