If you love poetry and you don’t know Housing Works Bookstore and Café, you must be living on another planet. They host more poetry and music events than you could ever possibly see, but they’ve saved some particular gems for the end of national poetry month. The Americana Jamboree will feature the Calamity Janes and songwriter and composer Gryphon Rue for a happy hour or two of foot-stompin’ old time tunes and poetry, pizza from Two Boots, and a whole lotta drinks.
April 20, 6pm, Housing Works
Knopf and Tumblr are teaming up to present Housing Works Bookstore’s next event, and it is an atom bomb of poetry celebrity. Get a dose of U.S. poet laureate Philip Levine’s intelligent lyricism and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith’s bold storytelling alongside exciting young poets Saeed Jones and Karolina Manko. Drinks are free. Poetry books 30 percent off. Save some dollars, see some poets, get crunk.
April 23, 7pm, Housing Works
Nuyorican Café features young, energetic, and eclectic performance poetry by great local talents. They will host a night chock full of acts, including The Encyclopedia Show, a “variety show extravanganza” featuring, among other things, “lovingkindness” and “robots and other technologically advanced things.” Fans of poetry and photography can come earlier in the day (2pm) for the publication party celebrating Jonathan Weiskopf’s book of photographs in and among the New York spoken word scene. A $3 ticket gets you in on a raffle for some photos.
April 22, 2pm & 8pm, Nuyorican Poets Café
Columbia University’s go-to spot for biblio-maniacs, Book Culture hosts its fair share of readings, including some very talented poets. Steve Griffiths and Andrey Gritsman give the Morningside Heights a sample of imaginative, transporting poems along with Gardner McFall’s elegant takes on people and nature.
April 23, 7pm, Book Culture
Maybe the event most populated by famous writers during national poetry month will be the Philip Larkin (“They fuck you up, your mum and dad…”!!!) tribute reading at Cooper Union in honor of the publication of his collected poems. It’s got live jazz. It’s got Billy Collins, Zadie Smith. It’s got Paul friggin’ Simon. Just go, already.
April 24, 7pm, The Great Hall at Cooper Union
Brooklyn’s own Greenlight Books will host poets Patricia Smith, Patrick Rosal and Samantha Thornhill for wine and lines of poetry from some very promising authors. We particularly recommend catching Patrick Rosal’s bit if you’re into sexy and (sometimes) foul-mouthed verse.
April 25, 7:30pm, Greenlight Bookstore
On April 26th, the Academy of American Poets would like you to celebrate national poetry month by participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day, when you carry a poem around with you for the day, able to have it out for reading at a moment’s notice. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, we bet free booze does, and that’s precisely what powerHouse Arena’s reading featuring Thomas Sayers Ellis, Sandra Beasley and Yusef Komunyakaa has to offer, besides some kickass poetry and free copies of American Poet Issue 42.
April 26, 7pm, powerHouse Arena
John Freeman says D.A. Powell’s poems “explode off the page like Molotov cocktails.” And the Strand says his poems will show you “how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire,” which sounds like a good enough reason to get yourself to a bathhouse in the boonies, or as a fallback option, get to the Strand on April 26th to see him read. Poet Matthea Harvey joins in conversation with Powell to make it even more enticing.
April 26, 7pm, The Strand
The Paris Review gets to show off its poetry skills (which are some of the best in town) at the NYU Creative Writers' House. Featured will be a range of artists across several genres, so there’s bound to be some primo stuff there for any fan of literature, or just about any other kind of media you can think of.
April 26, 7pm, Lillian Vernon Creative Writers’ House
If you can speak Spanish, or if hearing the language alone is as good as poetry to you, McNally Jackson hosts a bilingual talk about poetry translation at the end of the month. MarÃÂa Negroni hosts, and her translation credentials—previously winner of the PEN award for Best Book in Translation—are pretty damn good. Go hear her work wonders across the cultural and linguistic divide directly into your brains.
April 28, 6pm, McNally Jackson Books