Author Archive

John Ashbery

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I came early in the evening to lower Manhattan, more than an hour before the showcase reading that night at Poets House. I came to browse the showcase shelves and to meet a friend and share a bit of supper near the Hudson. I came early to see familiar

Cornelia St. Café and The Perfect Sense Reading Series

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I can’t think of a New York City poet who hasn’t read at the Cornelia St. Café and I don’t know of one who doesn’t look forward to doing so again.  Tucked since 1977 into the block-long West Village street whose name it bears, the café hosts more than 700

Martín Espada on Colonialism and the Poetry of Rebellion in Puerto Rico

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When I entered Poets House on May 31st for Martín Espada’s Home Page talk on Puerto Rican poetry, I carried with me a long-standing memory from Ernesto Quinoñez’s Bodega Dreams. Early in the novel from 2000, the narrator recalls his junior high school in Spanish Harlem: The whole time

Poetry and Its Whores

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In a year when summer came early to the city and spring came late thereafter, I did what seemed most reasonable on a May night misting rain and trolling a light fog.  The only reasonable thing a suddenly lonesome man, his wife away in Mexico, bikini-clad and strolling the

Poetry, Hip Hop, and Academia: A Discussion with Camille Rankine, Patrick Rosal, and Tracy K. Smith

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Move with the crowds underground to take the A train uptown on a quintessential Manhattan evening in late April, the clouds having opened up the sky to all those glorious industrial gases from across the Hudson that can turn the western horizon an ink wash of pastels. Step onto

The Death of Poetry?

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  With Easter and Passover falling early in April, Poetry Month began in full earnest later than usual here in New York City, about the middle of the month. While some continue to wait their turns in line to decry the end of poetry in these United States, the