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 four 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 50th 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 all series is by invitation from the series coordinator. It helps to be familiar with the Project’s schedule and what the current series coordinators are interested in (see below). While the series are curated, we are always CURIOUS. If you want to get our attention, mail your books and poems to the office at 131 E. 10th St. NY, NY 10003 or email us at info@poetryproject.com. Your email will be forwarded to the series coordinators.

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

Curatorial Statements from the Poetry Project Series Coordinators 2015-2016

Each reading and every person who reads is, for an instant, the center of a meeting of her own history and cultural work and the Project. Draw a line through the flat planes of that meeting and imagine the space of that line in three dimensions: the reading is a point on a vector shooting through a certain literary time and space. It is unstoppable. The Wednesday Night Series aims to manipulate points of intersection and to highlight the possibility of interrupting the unstoppable element of culture that the reading represents. Things could be different.–Simone White, Program Director & Wednesday Night Readings Coordinator

To my understanding, poetry is best understood as extreme contingency on an infinite plane. It is a collapsing of margins to the crystalized points of interdependence in balancing the often unbearable mass of language we encounter daily. In the readings I curate, I aim to bring together writers who can help us to ease, negotiate, or problematize this mass and to enable a coincidence of thoughts to occur within a space of performative witness.–Judah Rubin, Monday Night Readings Coordinator

Curating is one way to practice theories I have about how poetry might live its life off the page. “Poetry” holds an important role in a time when it is nearly impossible to survive in such a city as New York and maintain a robust creative practice. Many of the readers I invite do not call themselves “poets” and pause at the title of this small and mighty institution, wondering exactly where their essays, oral histories, short stories, plays, editorial/curatorial work, performances, compositions (the list goes on) might fit. The answer unravels in a reliable unpredictability at each reading, even for the poets who call themselves poets. The Friday Night Series is also about building an audience and the power in listening as a group. I hope to create a space where work overflows with the risk of being in conversation with what the present commands.–Ariel Goldberg, Friday Night Readings Coordinator