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.

At the beginning of 2020 we were planning for its end, that is to say we were mapping programs and events for the presently approaching Fall and Winter, and the emergent questions and concerns coming into view all seemed organized at that time (to the extent they could be organized) around utopia. Our inquiries within this frame have been rendered new again and again by shifting contexts. As the present moves ahead, so too does the horizon of a utopian elsewhere, or a utopian otherwise.

This year has presented many very new contexts, many old contexts heightened by new conditions, many conditions through which the projects and possibilities of utopia urge different consideration. How have notions of work, property, value, punishment, and hierarchy shaped our present circumstances? What kinds of reconfigured models for learning, collectivization, care, abolition, reparation, and divestment could we introduce to create more possible and thriving futures? How have ideas of utopia in the past failed to meet individual needs? Community needs? How is poetry both inclined and limited in capacity for utopian space-making, conceptualization, and critical-mindedness?

This year has exploded persistent violences of healthcare inequity, labor exploitation, the carceral state, our climate abuses, and housing crises. Is it possible to begin revolution from everywhere at once? And yet it seems we must.

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 have 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