Struggle for Liberty Virtual Reading Sunday, July 3, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST

Registration Required – Registration Link
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIsduCsrjwiEtMrMCgeWMUJulqmM7ujVoJv

Thank you Larry Robin for accepting my haiku for this anthology and will be sharing it at this event.

Kudos to David Dephy, R.Bremner, Martina McGowan, David Lawton, Robert Gibbons, and more.

A Persistence of Cormorants, Sunday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Coming up Sunday, June 26 from 1 :30 p.m. to around 3:30 p.m.

at 165 Second Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Another poetry event curated by Gerald Wagoner

Four powerful poets to read by the Gowanus Canal

Free Admission

The Featured Readers:

Patricia Carragon

Roxanne Hoffman

David Francis

Megha Sood

Bios:

Patricia Carragon has been widely published online and in print. Her most recent publications include First Literary Review-East, I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Jazz Musician, MER VOX Quarterly, Muddy River Review, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow anthology, et al. Her poem, “For All We Know,” is forthcoming in the 2022 great weather for MEDIA anthology. Her fiction piece What Has to Happen Next has been nominated for Sundress Publications Annual Best of the Net Anthology. Her poem Paris the Beautiful won Poem of the Week from great weather for MEDIA. She was nominated by Bear Creek Haiku for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Her books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles. She hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is an executive editor for Home Planet News Online. 

Roxanne Hoffman runs the literary press Poets Wear Prada with Jack Cooper. Her words can be found in cyberspace (The IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel Archive, Pedestal Magazine, New Verse News); set to music (David Morneau’s Love Songs); on the silver screen (2005 indie flick Love and the Vampire); and in print (The Bandana Republic: A Literary Anthology by Gang Members and Their AffiliatesSoft Skull Press; It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, Harper Perennial). Her elegiac poem “In Loving Memory,” illustrated by Edward Odwitt, was released as a chapbook in 2011. Their second collaboration, The Little Entomologist, was published in 2018.

Megha Sood is an Award-winning Asian American Poet, Editor, Author, Literary Activist from New Jersey, USA. Recipient of 2021 Poet Fellowship from MVICW ( Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creating Writing) and a National Level Winner for the 2020 Poetry Matters Project. Recipient of  “Certificate of Excellence” from Mayor, Jersey City. Associate Poetry Editor Literary Journals Mookychick(UK), Life and Legends (USA), and Literary Partner with “Life in Quarantine”, Stanford University. Author of Chapbook ( “My Body is Not an Apology”, Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Full Length (“My Body Lives Like a Threat”, FlowerSongPress,2022). She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

Born in Houston, David Francis has lived in London, Buenos Aires, and New
York.  He has produced six music albums, one of poetry, Always/Far, a chapbook
of lyrics and drawings, and Poems from Argentina (Kelsay Books).  In 2008 the
publication of his essay “Utterance and Hum: The Difference between Poem and
Song” led to a reading/lecture tour of the UK.  He has written and directed
the autobiographical films Village Folksinger (2013) and Memory Journey
(2018).  His verse and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and
anthologies.  Mr. Francis is working on his second collection. 
www.davidfrancismusic.com

Brownstone Poets reading for Saturday, June 25 is canceled

Due to unforeseeable situations, the Brownstone Poets reading for Saturday, June 25 is canceled. 

Please stay tuned for 
Saturday, July 30 

Alexandra Van de Kamp, Mario José Pagán Morales, Thomas Fucaloro

Anthology Reading: I Wanna Be Loved By You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Friday, June 24 at 7 P.M.

Come celebrate the release of this beautiful anthology honoring a Hollywood icon at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division,

June 24 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Bureau of General Services–Queer Division,

the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

I will be bringing copies of my new novel “Angel Fire” and “Meowku” to the reading.

LGBTQ+ contributors will read their poems on Marilyn Monroe, as well as additional selections from their work.

Featuring editors Susana H. Case & Margo Taft Stever, & contributors Joel AllegrettiPatricia CarragonAlexander CavaluzzoRobert Anthony Gibbons, Matthew HittingerLynn Mcgee, & Bruce E. Whitacre

This event will take place in person at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, on the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.

Also live-streaming on the Bureau’s YouTube channel

Safety protocol

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the days leading up to the event, we ask you to please stay home.

Please note that masks are required at all times inside The LGBT Community Center, where the Bureau is located.

Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work.

All are welcome to attend, with or without donation.

We will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register.

Editors:

SUSANA H. CASE is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently The Damage Done (Broadstone Books, 2022). Dead Shark on the N Train (Broadstone Books, 2020) won a Pinnacle Book Award for Best Poetry Book and a NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite and was a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. She is also the author of five chapbooks. Her first collection, The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press) was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka (Opole University Press). She is a co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. (www.susanahcase.com)

MARGO TAFT STEVER‘s latest of three full-length poetry collections are Cracked Piano (CavanKerry Press, 2019), which was shortlisted and received honorable mention for the 2021 Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize, and The End of Horses, Broadstone Books, 2022. Her latest of four chapbooks is Ghost Moose (Kattywompus Press, 2019). She is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Bioethics Department of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Stever also teaches a poetry workshop at Children’s Village, a residential school for at-risk children and adolescents. She is founder of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and founding and current co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. (www.margotaftstever.com)

Readers:

JOEL ALLEGRETTI is the author of, most recently, Platypus (NYQ Books), a collection of poems, prose, and performance texts, and Our Dolphin (Thrice Publishing), a novella. His second book of poems, Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. He is the editor of Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books). The Boston Globe called Rabbit Ears “cleverly edited” and “a smart exploration of the many, many meanings of TV.” (www.joelallegretti.com)

PATRICIA CARRAGON‘s poem Paris the Beautiful won Poem of the Week from great weather for MEDIA. Her latest book from Poets Wear Prada is Meowku and her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Patricia hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. (www.patriciacarragon8.wordpress.com)

ALEXANDER CAVALUZZO is an East Village-based writer and artist. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from Newsweek to Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. (www.alexandercavaluzzo.com)

ROBERT ANTHONY GIBBONS, a native Floridian, came to New York City in 2007 in search of his muse Langston Hughes and found a vibrant contemporary poetry community. His first book, Close to the Tree, was published by the New York-based Three Rooms Press. He is a Cave Canem Fellow (2019–2021) and has received residencies from the Norman Mailer Foundation and the DISQUIET International Literary Program. In 2018, he completed his MFA at City College.

MATTHEW HITTINGER is the author of The Masque of Marilyn (GOSS183), The Erotic Postulate and Skin Shift, both from Sibling Rivalry Press, and the chapbooks Platos de Sal (Seven Kitchens Press), Narcissus Resists (GOSS183), and Pear Slip (Spire Press). He received his MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he won a Hopwood Award. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, has been adapted into art songs, and in 2012 Poets & Writers Magazine named him a Debut Poet on their eighth annual list. Hittinger lives and works in New York City. (www.matthewhittinger.com)

LYNN MCGEE‘s poetry collections include Tracks (Broadstone Books), Sober Cooking (Spuyten Duyvil), and two award-winning chapbooks: Heirloom Bulldog (Bright Hill Press) and Bonanza (Slapering Hol Press). A children’s book, Starting Over in Sunset Park, co-written by Lynn McGee and José Pelauz, was published by Tilbury House Publishers and distributed by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (www.lynnmcgee.com).

BRUCE E. WHITACRE has completed master workshops with Jericho Brown, Alex Dimitrov, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Mark Wunderlich. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and lives in Forest Hills, Queens. (www.brucewhitacre.com)

The Phoenix Reading Series, Mon, June 6, at 6:30 p.m.

I will be bringing copies of my books Meowku, Angel Fire, Urban Haiku, etc., here.

Come ye wordsmiths, bards, and lovers of spoken words to

The Phoenix Series

Swift Hibernian Lounge

34 East 4th St., New York, NY 10003

from 6 :30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hosted by Jennifer Juneau and Michael Graves

open mic

$5 donation

FACEBOOK INVITE

https://www.facebook.com/events/580804573362413/?ref=newsfeed

The theme for this week, chosen by Jennifer Juneau’s co-host Michael Graves, is:

Random Acts of Kindness

Please support the venue by ordering their delicious pub-style food to wash it down with a drink or two.

Bios:

PATRICIA CARRAGON’S latest books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Patricia hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is an executive editor for Home Planet News Online. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

SUSAN WEIMAN is a storyteller, writer of literary nonfiction and fiction. Her work has been published in the Paterson Literary Review, New York State Writers Institute’s Trolley HomePlaneNews.com, First Literary Review – East, City Lore – Places That Matter, Silver Tongue Devil Anthology and elsewhere. Her recent chapbook, Roommates was published by ParksidePoetsPress in 2021, and New York-ish was published by NoNet Press in 2018. She is working on a memoir collection and a third chapbook, Life in the Time of Covid.

DOROTHY CANTWELL has worked as an educator, actor and playwright. Active in NYC experimental theater in the 1980s, she was a founding member of Robin Epstein’s More Fire! Productions, and worked with many downtown theater artists in venues that ranged from the Performing Garage to Broadway. Dorothy returns to the stage occasionally, most recently in a Retrospective of Jeff Weiss’ Work at the Kitchen and in Bill Considine’s Persephone Returns. Her work has been published in the Long Island Literary Journal, Brownstone Poets Anthology, Constellate Literary Journal, Flash Boulevard, Assisi, Poetrybay, Angel City Review, and River and South Review.

(Un)Cloistered Poetry Online, Sunday, June 12 at 6 p.m. EST

Happy to be featured with Violeta Orozco, Sean Kelbley, and Mary Austin Speaker on Sunday, June 12 at 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST. on Zoom.

Join us for incredible poetry from the comfort of wherever you are!

Features followed by open mic (5 minutes per reader)

Hosted by Jonie McIntire

Free Event

Be sure to register for the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZ0uf… 

Guest Poet Patricia Carragon reads for the Yorktown Poetry Workshop, Wednesday. May 25th (@6:30PM EDT)

Join us at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, May 25 EDT — Patricia Carragon, host of Brownstone Poets (which has an Open Mic this Saturday)
will be our guest poet (bio below)— bring one poem to receive comments/criticism — or just come and listen.

Hosted by John F. McMullen, Poet Laureate, Town of Yorktown, NY
Simply click Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83176155376

Bio

Patricia Carragon has been widely published online and in print. Her most recent publications include First Literary Review-East, I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Jazz Musician, MER VOX Quarterly, Muddy River Review, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow anthology, et al. Her poem, “For All We Know,” is forthcoming in the 2022 great weather for MEDIA anthology. Her fiction piece What Has to Happen Next has been nominated for Sundress Publications Annual Best of the Net Anthology. Her poem Paris the Beautiful won Poem of the Week from great weather for MEDIA. She was nominated by Bear Creek Haiku for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Her books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles. She hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.

Reminder: Brownstone Poets on Zoom: Megha Sood, Juan Pablo Mobili, Carolyne Wright, Sat, May 28 at 2 p.m. EST

Reminder: Brownstone Poets on Zoom

Saturday, May 28 , 2022

from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST on Zoom

Megha Sood

Juan Pablo Mobili

Carolyne Wright

Plus a limited open mic

$5

Hosted by Patricia Carragon

Please follow directions below, completing both steps at least two days before the reading to avoid delays entering the meeting room. Note the order of the open mic follows the order of signup. Sign up early to read early in the program. Last-minute signup means you will read at the end of the program.

Plus a limited open mic. Your $5 contribution keeps our annual anthology in print and pays our features. Hosted by Patricia Carragon, our Brooklyn girl and Editor-in-Chief.

Please follow these instructions:


Step 1: Make your $5 contribution: https://bit.ly/3bkqFmO
(Note that your contribution is not refundable.)


Step 2: Register in advance for this meeting:
https://bit.ly/3hnpy8D


Step 3: After making your contribution and completing your registration, you will receive a confidential confirmation email containing your unique link to join the event.

Looking forward to seeing you at our May reading! For your convenience, here is the link to our Facebook event page:
https://fb.me/e/1a24ntQy8

Bios:

Megha Sood is an Award-winning Asian American Poet, Editor, Author, Literary Activist from New Jersey, USA. Recipient of 2021 Poet Fellowship from MVICW ( Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creating Writing) and a National Level Winner for the 2020 Poetry Matters Project. Recipient of  “Certificate of Excellence” from Mayor, Jersey City.Associate Poetry Editor Literary Journals Mookychick (UK)Life and Legends (USA), and Literary Partner with “Life in Quarantine”, Stanford University. Author of Chapbook ( “My Body is Not an Apology”, Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Full Length (“My Body Lives Like a Threat”, FlowerSongPress,2022). She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appeared in The American Journal of PoetryThe Worcester Review, and The Banyan Review, Monotiths (Australia) and Impspired (UK), among many others. His work received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, and has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, in 2020 and 2021. His chapbook,  “Contraband,” will be published in 2022.

Carolyne Wright’s latest books are Masquerade, a memoir in poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021) and This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009. A Seattle native who has lived and taught all over the country, and on fellowships in Chile, Brazil, India and Bangladesh, she has 16 earlier books and anthologies of poetry, essays, and translation. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, Carolyne has received NEA and 4Culture grants. A Fulbright Scholar Award will take her back to Bahia, Brazil, post-CoVid-19.

Brownstone Poets on Zoom: Megha Sood, Juan Pablo Mobili, Carolyne Wright, Sat, May 28 at 2 p.m. EST

Brownstone Poets on Zoom

Saturday, May 28 , 2022

from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST on Zoom

Megha Sood

Juan Pablo Mobili

Carolyne Wright

Plus a limited open mic

$5

Hosted by Patricia Carragon

Please follow directions below, completing both steps at least two days before the reading to avoid delays entering the meeting room. Note the order of the open mic follows the order of signup. Sign up early to read early in the program. Last-minute signup means you will read at the end of the program.

Plus a limited open mic. Your $5 contribution keeps our annual anthology in print and pays our features. Hosted by Patricia Carragon, our Brooklyn girl and Editor-in-Chief.

Please follow these instructions:


Step 1: Make your $5 contribution: https://bit.ly/3bkqFmO
(Note that your contribution is not refundable.)


Step 2: Register in advance for this meeting:
https://bit.ly/3hnpy8D


Step 3: After making your contribution and completing your registration, you will receive a confidential confirmation email containing your unique link to join the event.

Looking forward to seeing you at our May reading! For your convenience, here is the link to our Facebook event page:
https://fb.me/e/1a24ntQy8

Bios:

Megha Sood is an Award-winning Asian American Poet, Editor, Author, Literary Activist from New Jersey, USA. Recipient of 2021 Poet Fellowship from MVICW ( Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creating Writing) and a National Level Winner for the 2020 Poetry Matters Project. Recipient of  “Certificate of Excellence” from Mayor, Jersey City.Associate Poetry Editor Literary Journals Mookychick (UK)Life and Legends (USA), and Literary Partner with “Life in Quarantine”, Stanford University. Author of Chapbook ( “My Body is Not an Apology”, Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Full Length (“My Body Lives Like a Threat”, FlowerSongPress,2022). She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appeared in The American Journal of PoetryThe Worcester Review, and The Banyan Review, Monotiths (Australia) and Impspired (UK), among many others. His work received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, and has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, in 2020 and 2021. His chapbook,  “Contraband,” will be published in 2022.

Carolyne Wright’s latest books are Masquerade, a memoir in poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021) and This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009. A Seattle native who has lived and taught all over the country, and on fellowships in Chile, Brazil, India and Bangladesh, she has 16 earlier books and anthologies of poetry, essays, and translation. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, Carolyne has received NEA and 4Culture grants. A Fulbright Scholar Award will take her back to Bahia, Brazil, post-CoVid-19.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is featured poet at milestone CCNY Poetry Festival, May 6

Pleased to be a guest poet at this festival on Friday, May 6

Reading with friends:

Robert GibbonsEve PackerJeff WrightThaddeus RutkowskiEllen LytleSteven Koenig

CCNY’S   50TH ANNUAL               

POETRY FESTIVAL

Division of Humanities and the Arts

Co-promotional sponsors:

The American Academy of Poets &

Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

FRIDAY, MAY 6th, 2022

9:15 AM TO 5:00 PM

 Featured Guest Poet:

              Reginald Dwayne Betts

READINGS:

ELEMENTARY & JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

9:15 AM – NOON

HIGH SCHOOL POETRY WINNERS

NOON – 1:30 PM

GUEST OF HONOR:

Reginald Dwayne Betts

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

CCNY ENGLISH STUDENTS & INVITED GUESTS

2:30 PM – 5:00 PM

AARON DAVIS HALL

MARIAN ANDERSON THEATER

133RD STREET AT CONVENT AVENUE

CONTACT:

Pamela Laskin

(212)650-6356

http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/poetryoutreachcenter

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts will be the featured guest poet for the 50th annual City College Poetry Festival held at the Marian Anderson Theater at Aaron Davis Hall (160 Convent Avenue). Dubbed “the Woodstock of the Spoken Word,” the festival has become New York’s longest-running poetry celebration.

“The City College Poetry Festival is the democratic voice of poetry in New York City public schools,” said Pamela Laskin, a lecturer in the City College English department and director of the CCNY Poetry Outreach Center, which produces the festival. “Its assumption is there are many poets, and they all have terrific stories to tell. This would make Walt Whitman proud.”

Upwards of 150 students from as many as 50 schools are expected to recite their poems at this year’s festival. The festival is “something the children always look forward to,” said Deborah Newman, a former teacher at P.S. 368 in Brooklyn, who had been attending the festival for over 13 years.  “It’s a blessing, something that is real to them, and it’s an entire year of poetry for the children, leading up to this celebration.  The teachers and the administrators love it, too.”

Some of the children who participated in the festival’s early years are now teachers who bring their classes. “In 1975, I introduced a third grade student to the audience of 400 cheering students, teachers, friends and family; in 1996, this same individual returned to the festival at City and introduced the readers from her fourth grade class,” recalls Barry Wallenstein, CCNY professor emeritus and former festival director.

“Over the past four decades, this event has become a place of reunion and affirmation for City College alumni, returning teachers, student-poets and friends of the College. I hope it and the important activities of the Poetry Outreach Center continue long beyond 2020.”

In addition to the readings by students, each year the festival invites one or more prominent poets to read their work. Among those who have appeared are Paul Simon, Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine, Billy Collins, Major Jackson, Kimiko Hahn, Cornelius Eady, Patricia Smith, Richard Tillinghast, Tom Sleigh , Marilyn Nelson, Elana Bell and Aracelis Girmay, Tracy Smith, Marilyn Nelson, Jacqueline Woodson, Nicole Cooley  David Groff, Estha Weiner and, most recently (on ZOOM), Nathalie Handal.

The event commences with readings by elementary school students, followed by poets from junior high schools. Beginning around noon, the winners of the festival’s citywide high school poetry contest will recite their poems, with the top three winners receiving the Poetry Prize, which are cash prizes.

A reading by Reginald Dwayne Betts will conclude the day.

The festival presents a special award for the best poem in a language other than English.  Submissions have come from 20 different languages over the festival’s history, reflecting the diversity of both New York City and of CCNY.

This year, for the first time ever, The American Academy of Poets has agreed to be a co-promotional sponsor. As always, we are fortunate to have the Division of Humanities and the Arts sponsor our event, under the wonderful tutelage of Interim Dean Renata K. Miller. In addition, Andrew Rich’s  Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership has lent its vital support and publicity.

Festival Sponsors

  • Axe-Houghton Foundation
  • Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
  • Poets & Writers, Inc.
  • David and Harianne Wallenstein
  • CCNY President, Dr.Vince Boudreau
  • DeeDee Mozeleski, Office of Institutional Advancement
  • Interim Dean Renata K. Miller,  Division of Humanities and the Arts
  • Provost, Dr. Tony Liss
  • Interim Deputy Dean of School of Education, Andrew Ratner
  • CCNY English Department, Mikhal Dekel,  Interim Chair
  • CCNY MFA, Michelle Valladares, Director, Creative Writing
  • CCNY Office of Government and Community Affairs, Karen Witherspoon, vice president
  • The Foundation for City College, Annika Luedke and Diana Ward
  • South Wind Foundation
  • Andrew Rich, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts

Renowned poet Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo credit: Giancarlo Valentine

Celebrated poet, memoirist and educator Reginald Dwayne Betts is the featured poet at the 50th annual City College Poetry Festival on May 6 in  CCNY’s Marian Anderson Theater. Dubbed “the Woodstock of the Spoken Word,” New York’s longest-running poetry celebration will also include Ukrainian essayist and translator Vasyl Makhno as guest poet. The all-day event that features budding poets from up to 50 public schools, runs from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

“The City College Poetry Festival is the democratic voice of poetry in New York City public schools,” said Pamela Laskin, a lecturer in CCNY’s English department and director of the CCNY Poetry Outreach Center, which produces the festival. “Its assumption is there are many poets, and they all have terrific stories to tell. This would make Walt Whitman proud.” 

Upwards of 150 students from as many as 50 schools – both elementary and junior high — are expected to recite their poems, with the top three winners receiving the Poetry Prize. 

The festival is “something the children always look forward to,” said Deborah Newman, a former teacher at P.S. 368 in Brooklyn, who had been attending the festival for over 13 years.  “It’s a blessing, something that is real to them, and it’s an entire year of poetry for the children, leading up to this celebration. The teachers and the administrators love it, too.”

Some of the children who participated in the festival’s early years are now teachers who bring their classes. “In 1975, I introduced a third grade student to the audience of 400 cheering students, teachers, friends and family; in 1996, this same individual returned to the festival at City and introduced the readers from her fourth grade class,” recalls Barry Wallenstein, CCNY professor emeritus and former festival director. 

“Over the past four decades, this event has become a place of reunion and affirmation for City College alumni, returning teachers, student-poets and friends of the College. I hope it and the important activities of the Poetry Outreach Center continue long beyond 2022.”

The festival concludes with a reading by Reginald Dwayne Betts. He continues the tradition of notable poets who’ve graced the festival since 1972. They include Paul Simon, Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine, Billy Collins (read all).

About Reginald Dwayne Betts
In October 2018, The New York Times Magazine published Betts’ long essay “Getting Out.”  Several months later, the piece was awarded a National Magazine Award.  The publication was another example of Betts entering into a new genre and bringing the same depth and richness of self-reflection and exploration of the central problem on this generation: incarceration and its effects on families and communities. Read more.

About Vasyl Makhno 
Based in the U.S., Vasyl Makhno’s numerous honors include the Encounter Award, The Ukranian-Jewish Literary Prize; and the Uri Shevelov Prize (twice). He was also twice a finalist for the BBC Book of the Year Award. Makhno is the author of 11 collections of poetry. His most recent, “A Paper Bridge,” appeared in 2017. He has also published two book of essays: “The Gertrude Stein Memorial Cultural and Recreation Park”  and “Horn of Plenty.” Read more.

The American Academy of Poets debuts this year as a co-promotional sponsor. Click here for a list of all the sponsors.

For more information about the 50th CCNY Spring Poetry Festival, please contact Pamela L. Laskin at ccnypoetryoutreachcenter@gmail.com .

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.