Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of The Poetry Project,

Our 50th Anniversary will kick off next Fall with a celebration of Paul Blackburn, who gave the first reading at this new home for poets in September 1966. In his words, “Just put me on Second Avenue: I can hang on.” I’m very proud that our organization has managed to hang on, and even to thrive, in a rapidly changing city.

The Project has had some great successes over the past year:

  • Emerge-Surface-Be, the Project’s fellowship program for NYC emerging writers, received funding for the next two years and will be able to offer six more writers a cash award, one on one mentorship, and opportunities at the Project and in the greater literary community.
  • For the first time in decades, we were able to raise the stipend for all featured readers – a pay raise for poets!
  • For the first time ever, the Project has added a new staff position (Program Director) to assure that the work we present remains the most exciting, innovative, and relevant to our audiences.

As a Project audience member, you can look forward to performances by John Keene, Nathaniel Mackey, Ron Padgett, Raphael Rubenstein, Eunsong Kim, Dodie Bellamy, Wendy Xu, and Camel Collective (Anthony Graves and Carla Herrera-Prats); talks by Charles Bernstein, Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture), and Paul Stevens on the graphic work of Robert Grenier; supersized group readings for John Wieners and the Pocket Poets/City Lights 60th Anniversary Anthology; Workshops and Master Classes by Wayne Koestenbaum, Julie Patton, and Rachel Levitsky; and a collaboration with our sister project Danspace to be featured in their Eiko Otake Platform, “A Body in Places.”

We hope you will invest in our current work and future potential by making a tax-deductible contribution. 


Your gift makes it possible to fund 65 readings this season, plan for key 50th anniversary events, sustain a higher stipend for writers, and sustain and develop our fellowship program. (Congrats to this year’s fellows t’ai freedom ford, Nicole Sealy, and Édgar J. Ulloa!) A gift of $250 covers the stipend for one writer in the Wednesday Night Reading Series, a gift of $150 covers the stipend for one writer in the Monday and Friday Night Reading Series, however, your support, in any amount, will directly impact the material lives of all participating artists.

Best wishes,

Stacy Szymaszek