This month poet Geer Austin shows The Narrator how National Poetry Month is really done! Each week we’ll get his picks on the must see / must hear / must go-to happenings of NYC poetica and on the web. Be advised: Check back – and check back often!
The Civil Rights Movement gave birth to many other movements. One of its offshoots is National Poetry Month, inspired by Black History Month. What do civil rights and poetry have in common? A quest for freedom.
Poetry is arguably the freest of the art forms, perhaps because there is so little financial outlay or remuneration involved in the creation and publication of a poem. And poetry imposes few rules on its creators. Poets may perform spoken word pieces. They may join the New Formalists and write sonnets from dawn to midnight (or midnight to dawn), or invent and write new poetic forms. They may write prose poems or draw visual poems.
Similar to a NY Writers Coalition workshop, where a leader gives participants a prompt and then encourages them to write whatever they wish, poetry has no limits. So, in the spirit of freedom, whether free verse or free writing workshops, The Narrator lauds National Poetry Month, and here are some of our favorite events happening soon in the New York City area.
Collabo Reading: Asian American Writers’ Workshop & Cave Canem – April 5 at 6:30 p.m.
This Brooklyn reading marks the sixth annual collaboration between Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Cave Canem. Co-hosted and co-curated by Kyla Marshall and Muriel Leung, the evening features the words of four incredible female poets: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Robin Coste Lewis, Metta Sáma, and NYWC’s own Tamiko Beyer. Click here for more info and full artist bios.
Poetry & the Creative Mind – April 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Poetry & The Creative Mind kicks off National Poetry Month this week, with a 10th anniversary celebration that will benefit the Academy of American Poets — quite appropriate given that AAP established National Poetry Month in 1996. Today, National Poetry Month is largest literary celebration in the world. Click here for more info on the Lincoln Center soiree. And did we mention that Meryl Streep will be in the house?
Poetic Justice: Celebrating Emma Lazarus – April 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Next Wednesday, poems about immigration and exodus take center stage at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Gerald Stern and other contemporary poets will reflect on the life and work of Emma Lazarus, an American Jewish poet known for penning “The New Colossus,” the sonnet preserved in bronze on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Readings will be presented in conjunction with Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles. So, arrive early to tour the exhibition beforehand. Click here for tickets and more info.
Reading: Keorapetse Kgositsile, South Africa’s Poet Laureate – April 13 at 5:00 p.m.
Keorapetse Kgositsile, the current Poet Laureate of South Africa visits NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House (58 West 10th Street) next week for a featured reading of his work. Kgositsile’s publications include This Way I Salute You, which features his selected poems (Kwela Books, 2009). Click here for info on this and other readings sponsored by NYU’s creative writing program.