• » The Children's Poetry Festival

    The NYC Children’s Poetry Festival, sponsored by Writopia, aims to remind kids that writing (like dance, art, and music) is a valuable way of expressing themselves and exploring their world! Ages 2-13 are invited into the beautiful nature of Governors Island for a weekend of inspiration, communication, and fun with their peers! Children are invited to share their own original poetry on our kids-only stage. For the younger crowd we’ll have book readings and the Poetree Forest (a land of balloons that children can write poems on and add illustrations to), as well as a handmade teepee village to spur little imaginations.

  • » The Ring of Daisies Open Mic

    The Poetry Society of New York is delighted to welcome back the Ring of Daisies Open Mic to this year’s festival. We believe in packing the festival with as much poetry as possible! If you’re new to the poetry world or just not reading as part of an organization at the festival, bring some poems along and perform inside a giant ring of daisies. Stop by the information table before 2pm each day to sign up.

  • » Brooklyn Beer & Wine Garden

    Beer & Wine for this event have been lovingly provided to us by Brooklyn Brewery & The Abbey. Sit down for a handcrafted Brooklyn Brew, a spicy Michelada, or a refreshing glass of Rosé and listen to the wind blowing poetry around the island. Belinis and Mimosas will also be available for purchase.

  • » Food Trucks

    Enjoy healthy and delicious food options provided by Big D’s Grub Truck, ToumEverything About Crepes, Gorilla Cheese, and Andy’s Italian Ices!

  • » The Typewriter Project

    The Typewriter Project is a series of site-specific literary installations which encourage users to go analog. These typewriter installations—wooden booths with a seat, desk, and typewriter inside—allow professional writers and first time typists alike to join in a citywide linguistic exchange. Each booth is outfitted with a 100-foot scroll of paper and a USB typewriter kit, which allows every written entry to be collected, stored, and posted online for users to read, share, and comment upon. The Typewriter Project intends to investigate the subconscious of the city by creating unique spaces designed for contemplation. Look for the rustic, wooden booth situated on the North end of Colonel’s Row.

  • » The Poetry Brothel

    The poets of The Poetry Brothel rarely come out in the daylight, so for the lucky audiences at the New York City Poetry Festival, they have made a midnight manor of building 407 on Governors Island’s Colonel’s Row. For a tiny fee, you can sit down with a poet and enjoy a private, one-on-one poetry reading inside a dark and mysterious, candlelit room.

  • » Fish Tanks

    Fish Tanks is an immersive and site specific bicoastal performance collaboration between artists Sara Debevec, based in Los Angeles, and Ariel Kleinberg, based in Brooklyn. Directed by Debevec and executed by Kleinberg, Fish Tanks explores hybrid identities through spoken word, choreography and striking visual design. Landana (half woman, half fish) takes us on a spellbinding journey through self discovery and coming of age in a multilayered society. The audience are invited to explore how much we are willing to sacrifice to establish a sense of belonging. Using an old portable radio for a mouth, Landana tells us the tales of her ancestors and what it means to have both gills and legs.

    Sara Debevec is an international poet, writer and multidisciplinary performance artist who draws inspiration from animals and insects. She has performed as a horse, a homeless snail, a dog, a fly, a moth and a cockroach in the past. Sara has performed in numerous cultural centers and art venues around the world including Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, USA; Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles; USA; The Roundhouse in London, UK; Glastonbury Festival in Sommerset, UK; Centrum Sztuki Fort Sokolnickiego in Warsaw, Poland and Greenhouse in Berlin, Germany to name a few. Her work was featured in a collection of poetry published by Antlers Press, ‘Bad Brains’ as well as in Relapse arts magazine. She has been a blogger in residence for The Southbank Centre in London. She also holds a degree in Sociology from Goldsmiths College London and a masters in Urban Studies from University College London.

    Ariel Kleinberg is a painter and performer from New York, NY. Her work is concerned with storytelling and ritual, drawing upon ancient mythology, the urban landscape, and her adventures in both realms. She collects fragments of her experience in the form of journals and other artifacts, which she assembles into books and zines as well as large, layered installations. These installations become theatrical and ritual spaces, evolving dramatically over time through acts of creation and destruction. Kleinberg has been an artist-in-residence at the Triangle Artists’ Workshop and the League Residency at Vyt. She holds a BA in Ancient Greek from Vassar College and an MFA in Painting from the New York Studio School, where she was the recipient of the Sally and Milton Avery Arts Foundation Scholarship and the Hohenberg Award for European Travel. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

  • » The New York City Postcard Project

    Write a poem to a stranger on a postcard featuring a photo collage of New York City. All postcards were designed by artist Christine Stoddard and feature images from across the Big Apple. Postcards will be mailed to New Yorkers at random after the festival.

  • » Between Two Trees

    On July 31 the visual artist Michael Krasowitz will present a collaborative work called “Between Two Trees”.

    As part of the NY Poetry Festival,  Michael will create unique artworks.  He will ask the poets in attendance to collaborate with him, creating their reactions to the piece he spontaneously creates.  The final pieces will be displayed on a clothesline hung between two trees at the reading site.

    Michael encourages poets to come to his space to participate in the creation of these unique works.  He will create a unique  Facebook page to showcase the works created throughout the day.

  • » Parapluie ou Parasol?

    This performance-art installation by artist Bill Kroeger mixes image, word, and concept aspects of poetry with visual and material construction in a smorgasbord of audience participation. As a plethora of literary and cinematic references show, umbrellas could signify numerous aspects of human engagement – from sexualities to styles to experiences of nature and the social. Offering many different shapes and forms in a spectrum of colors reinforces this complexity – and as audience members walk by they can choose any umbrella to paint or mark with words. Open umbrellas of all colors, forms, sizes, and functions will be arranged horizontally on a spot of sunlit grass or (if it is more convenient spatially) arranged vertically on a wall, so that the words they have been marked with will form a poem. Conceptually, artistic and literary discourses have recently focused on the potential of random/unintentional word orders, but this project will allow each participant to choose a place for her umbrella and its word, exploring the relationship between authorial choice and chance’s ultimate role in constructing interpretive meaning.

    The linguistic dichotomy – parapluie ou parasol – for rain or for sun – utilizes juxtaposition to emphasize the multiplicity of shapes, colors, sizes, and therefore functional, aesthetic, and representative possibilities (genders, ethnicities, experiences) – or ways to engage. The final product – a three-dimensional word-mural incorporating long and thin, wide and round, and many colors – will offer a visual and conceptual experience of collective intersectional agency as poetry.

  • » The ultimate truth of the Human is Hers

    “The ultimate truth of the Human is Hers” is a performance based around the sound installation “Inside her head” by Jana Astanov and Red Temple collective. It is based on a ritual imitating ceremonies performed by Siberian Shamanesses but also merging cultural references from different tribal traditions. The Shamaness is seen as the go-between medium, revealing the will of the divine and connecting the tribe with its vital force. During the performance, “Insider her head,” the head of Medusa, metamorphosed into a tribal totem, is carried in a solemn procession. The head itself is styled on the images of Medusa with red hair and long red ribbons with poetry written on them resembling the snakes. The head is fitted with a set of headphones and mp3 player so each person wearing it is instantly taken into the world of Medusa listening to what is going on “inside her head.” The soundscape creates a spiritual atmosphere using the sound of shamanic drum and a mix of female authors. During the performance, performers will wear the headpiece and afterward, the audience is invited to wear it as well. Some poems belong to the members of Red Temple collective, others come from female poets who answered an open call, as well as a mix of soundtracks of selected poetry from such female poets as Sappho, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Marianne Moore, Anna Akhmatova, Maria Pawlikowska Jasnorzewska, Elizabeth Bishop, Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich and May Swenson – extracts of their poems were recorded by the Red Temple collective and added to the mix of what is happening “Inside her head.”


    “Only when the last tree has died,
    The last river been poisoned,
    And the last fish been caught
    Will we realize we cannot eat money.”
    -Cree Proverb

    For the third and final installment of his Anthropocene Trilogy on Governors Island, Karl C. Leone offers the public a meditation on the environment. Borrowing the ancient Greek poetic structure of the ‘eclogue’ (a pastoral or wilderness poem), THE ECOLOGUES seek to call attention to humankind’s embattled relationship with the natural world in 2016. Drawing inspiration from various cultures, mythologies, writers and scientists who have warned us of the perilous state of our global ecology, Leone and his repertory ensemble of dancers, vocalists, and musicians create a space on Governors Island where human, natural and spiritual elements are woven into a delicate whole so to illuminate the interconnection and interdependency of us all. This event is proudly sponsored by the NYC Poetry Festival and open to the public. It will run from 12pm-3pm both days of the festival and feature Ryan Aschenbener, Aron Cantor, Nettie Chickering, Ioanna Katsarou & Vanessa Rose. Musical Composition by Tamara Jaton & Eclair Morton. Conceived, Written & Directed by Karl C. Leone.

The above information applies to the 2016 New York City Poetry Festival! Please check back next year for the 2017 information.