New York

In 1985, New York established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Alicia Ostriker who was elected in 2018 to a two-year term. Poets who have previously served in this role include Yusef Komunyakaa and Marie Howe. Throughout their term, the state poet laureate promotes and encourages poetry writing throughout New York by giving public readings and talks within the state. Ostriker is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the author most recently of Waiting for the Light (Pitt Poetry Series, 2017). 

In 2016, Rebecca Black was appointed the poet laureate of Albany, New York. Black is the author of Cottonlandia (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry.

upcoming events

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Apr 25 2019
New Works: Jericho Brown, Marwa Helal and Kwoya Fagin Maples

Come celebrate the recent publications of new work by three brilliant Cave Canem poets. Winner of an American Book Award for Poetry, Jericho Brown is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), of which Claudia Rankine says, "To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius." Marwa Helal is the author of Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019), praised by Solmaz Sharif for being "gorgeous and gutting, rising to its own invocation." Of Kwoya Fagin Maples's debut collection MEND (University Press of Kentucky, 2018), finalist for the AWP Prize, Abraham Smith notes, "MEND is a startling, stomping debut. Maples’s masterful image-making magnetizes and mesmerizes." Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. This event is co-sponsored with the NYU Creative Writing Program.

Jericho Brown is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Tradition (2019). His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, The Pushcart Prize Anthology and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. Brown is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. She is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. Her work appears in Apogee, Hyperallergic, Poets & Writers, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. Her debut poetry collection, MEND, (University Press of Kentucky, 2018) was finalist for the AWP Prize and received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and is a graduate Cave Canem fellow. Her work is published in several journals and anthologies including Blackbird Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Obsidian, The African-American Review, PLUCK, and Cave Canem Anthology XIII. Maples teaches Creative Writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and directs an annual three-dimensional poetry exhibit which features poetry and visual art including original paintings, photography, installations and film.

58 W 10th Street
10003 New York, New York
Apr 16 2019
Bryant Park Winter Poetry with Spork Press
Hear established and emerging poets read their poetry as Bryant Park Poetry goes indoors for the winter. This month's program is presented in partnership with Spork Press.
Featuring the poets: Dorothy Chan, Rae Gouirand, Paul Legault, and David Welch.
Kinokuniya Bookstore provides a warm environment where you’ll meet other poetry aficionados. Located at 1073 Avenue of the Americas, between West 40th and West 41st Streets. The bookstore sits opposite Bryant Park. Books are available for purchase and for signing by the poets.
Winter Poetry readings are held on the third Tuesday of each month, January - April, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Readings are free and open to the public.
*Please note: programs are subject to change
1073 Avenue of the Americas
between West 40th and West 41st Streets
10018 New York, New York
Apr 09 2019
New Works: Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Alison C. Rollins and Amber Flora Thomas

Enjoy a display of exceptional poetry featuring new collections by Cave Canem fellows Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Alison C. Rollins and Cave Canem faculty Amber Flora Thomas. Author of three poetry collections, Mitchell L.H. Douglas' most recent, dying in the scarecrow's arms (Persea Books, 2018), holds "masterful poems" that "serve as questions and facts, protests and affirmations," as said by Adrian Matejka. A recipient of a 2018 Rona Jaffe Writers' Award and 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, Alison C. Rollins is the author of Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). Amber Flora Thomas is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Red Channel in the Rupture (Red Hen Press, 2018), described by Camille T. Dungy as exhibiting a voice that is "fresh, fierce and wildly alive."  Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Co-sponsored with The New School Creative Writing Program.

Mitchell L.H. Douglas is the author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms (Persea Books, 2018)\blak\ \al-fə bet\ (Persea Books, 2013), winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem (Red Hen Press, 2009), a NAACP Image Award and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. His poetry has appeared in CallalooThe Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press, 2007), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015), Crab Orchard Review and Ninth Letter, among others. He is a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem graduate, and Associate Professor of English at IUPUI.

Alison C. Rollins holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Born and raised in St. Louis city, she currently works as a Librarian for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Rollins has most recently been awarded support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and is a recipient of a 2018 Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. Her debut poetry collection Library of Small Catastrophes is forthcoming with Copper Canyon Press in Spring 2019. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, The Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Amber Flora Thomas is the author of three collections of poetry: Red Channel in the Rupture (Red Hen Press, 2018), The Rabbits Could Sing (University of Alaska Press, 2012), and Eye of Water (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), which won the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. A recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize, and Ann Stanford Prize, her work has appeared in The New England Review, Tin House, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and faculty member. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in North Carolina.

63 5th Avenue
Room UL102
10003 New York, New York

recent & featured listings

typesort ascending name state
Festival Brooklyn Book Festival New York
Festival New York Poetry Festival New York
Festival Spring Poetry Festival at City College of New York New York
Reading Series 92nd Street Y New York
Reading Series Katonah Poetry Series New York
Colony Millay Colony for the Arts New York
Colony Yaddo Colony New York
Writing Program Stony Brook Southampton New York
Writing Program Manhattanville College New York
Writing Program The New School New York
Poetry in New York
Yusef Komunyakaa
New York poet laureate

Yusef Komunyakaa

Poet Yusef Komunyakaa first received wide recognition following the 1984 publication of Copacetic, a collection of poems built from colloquial speech...


for my father, Frank Espada

In 1941, my father saw his first big league ballgame at Ebbets Field
in Brooklyn: the Dodgers and the Cardinals. My father took his father's hand.
When the umpires lumbered on the field, the

For Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
     starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking 
     for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
     connection to the starry dynamo in the

To Mary Jo Salter

Beyond the ice-bound stones and bucking trees, 
past bewildered Mary, the Meer in snow, 
two skating rinks and two black crooked paths

are a battered pair of reading glasses 
scratched by the skater's multiplying math. 
Beset, I play this game of tic-tac-toe.

Divide, subtract. Who can