This weekend, I took a bus to NYC to catch up with some friends, and one of the places we visited was The Poets House, located at 10 River Terrace in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City. Basically, this is a building with shelves and shelves of poetry books (over 50,000 volumes according to the website) that the public can read when they visit. What impressed me most about the venue is the Poet House Showcase at the front of the massive library that features several new books published within the last year. For poets to have a chance to showcase their work like this is quite an amazing opportunity! Furthermore, once the year passes, the books are then placed on the shelves in back and remain there for visitors to browse. The venue also has a pretty extensive collection of literary journals, so for anyone looking to get published, the venue provides an invaluable service of allowing writers to browse the latest issues of journals free of charge.
There’s also several workshops and readings that go on throughout the year. Recently, the Poets House hosted Nick Flynn, Kevin Young and current U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin. I’m still a little bummed that I missed Kevin Young and Nick Flynn read together.
In addition, my thesis mentor from graduate school and a great poet, Neil Shepard, is doing a workshop that runs until Nov. 9.
New Yorkers are so lucky to have a space in their city that supports writers so much and allows the public to just come in and pick up any of their books. If I lived in NYC, I’d probably visit the place a few times a week to write and read while I looked out at the gorgeous Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
My friend Tez took some pictures, so you can get an idea how spacious this place is.