Reading Series

Photo by Ted Roeder
Photo by Ted Roeder

Since its founding in 1966, the Poetry Project has been a forum for public literary events and a resource for writers. Over the past five decades, thousands of poets, writers and performers have shared their work here. With three distinct reading/performance series, plus talks and special events, the Poetry Project is a vital and hospitable hub for the writing community in New York City.

Now in its 53rd season, the Poetry Project continues to be a premiere venue for poets, writers, artists and performers whose work is experimental, innovative and pertinent to writing that proposes fresh aesthetic, cultural, philosophical and political approaches to contemporary society.

The Poetry Project’s Reading Series

While the boundaries between each of the Project’s reading series are permeable, in general, the weekly Wednesday Night Reading Series features nationally/internationally recognized poets as well as those of local renown. The biweekly Monday Night Reading Series serves as a forum for emerging poets as well as the open-mic readings. The biweekly Friday Night Reading Series provides space for poets and artists whose work is multidisciplinary. The quarterly talk series has been formally dissolved and all three series will now include talks as part of their usual programming.


General admission: $8

Students/Seniors: $7
Members: $5 or free
-No one turned away for inability to pay-

“How Do I Get A Reading?”

Participation in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night events at The Poetry Project — from two or three person readings, book launches, special events, and The New Year’s Day Marathon — is through invitation by coordinators and committees. We are also always excited to hear new voices, and there are many ways to get involved with The Poetry Project and share your work.

Twice a year we host Workshop Readings, open to everyone who participated in our five- and ten-session workshops, to celebrate the writing they created there.

Twice a year we also host Mimeo Mic, where we select 20 readers (ten per event) from an open applicant pool to present their work. Following in the tradition of Open Readings and the mimeo logic of making poetry as available as possible to as many people as possible, these events are designed to create a platform for poets to deepen their connection with The Poetry Project community, whether they are introducing their work for the first time or have been around from the beginning but want to participate in a new way. Everyone is encouraged to apply to read. We accept submissions in August and December. To apply to read, send a work sample (5 poems or 15 pages max with your first and last name in the file name) to with “Mimeo Mic” in the subject line. 

Near the end of each season, we also host a Volunteer & Intern Potluck and Reading, where the brilliant poets who make our events possible every week by stacking chairs, selling books, pouring wine, and so much more take the stage to share their work. All volunteers and interns are invited to read, and everyone is encouraged to come out to support and celebrate their work.

For more information or to be considered for a reading, direct queries to

Curatorial Statement Fall/Winter 2019

Greetings Poetry Projectors. We’re excited to share with you our Fall & Winter 2019 season of events, this year organized under the banner, imperative, faith, and method of the word TRANSMIT.

At a time when we find ourselves steeped more deeply in algorithmic solitude, our often alienating and sometimes fractious content-streams of justifiable outrage, we want to call to mind the conviction of fellow senders, receivers, and conductors, those heading likewise across the void, beyond meridian. We don’t (can’t, shouldn’t) pretend that such vectors of communication are imaginings of equivalence or even empathy – what we’re getting at instead is that electric vantage point where witness meets humility, past ego, past the desire for our own identification or recognition, where we find our nerves have opened to the previously inconceivable.

We ask: where are we writing from and toward? What are the possibilities and limitations of poetry to envision and articulate? How can language render us differently attentive to one another?  

We start the Fall with two headlining collaborations reaching across particular distances: NYC Writers for Migrant Justice, a marathon-style event to raise bail bonds and other support service funds for Immigrant Families Together; and Break Out: A Prison Writing Awards Celebration & Anthology Book Launch, in collaboration with PEN America, as part of The Brooklyn Book Festival, and a larger effort to reintegrate work by incarcerated writers into literary community.

Collaboratively curated by The Poetry Project’s staff, this season also features poets, writers, and artists sending dispatches across a number of other frequencies – samizdat, music, critical correspondence, and inquiry. And we’ve organized several group events tuned into the archives of some specific language-workers and community-makers – with book launches for David Rattray and Ed Smith, a multimedia event on Baraka and Place, and memorials celebrating the work of Steve Cannon, Kevin Killian, and Carolee Schneemann.

You’ll find details about our upcoming events here. We hope to see you soon.