Reshaping New York’s Poetic Landscape

Discover how this influential poet is using his words to weave a new cultural tapestry across New York, aiming to place poetry at the heart of the state’s identity.

New York is gearing up for a remarkable celebration of verse with the upcoming “New York State of Poetry” week. From April 14th to 20th, 2024, the state will buzz with the poetic fervor of events coordinated by the renowned 2021-2023 New York State Poet Laureate, Willie Perdomo, in collaboration with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W). This statewide initiative is part of the broader National Poetry Month celebrations, shining a spotlight on the vibrant and diverse voices that echo through the corridors of New York’s cultural landscape.

The Vision Behind the Verse

Willie Perdomo, a revered figure in contemporary poetry, envisions this week as more than just a series of events; he sees it as a foundational movement to intertwine poetry with New York’s state symbols—right up there with the Big Apple and the iconic skyline. Perdomo’s ambition is to see poetry celebrated across the state in a manner that it becomes a staple of New York’s identity, proposing that a day in April be officially recognized as the “New York Day of Poetry.”

A Gathering of Poetic Giants

This poetic week will not only feature Willie Perdomo but also other distinguished laureates including Patricia Spears Jones, the current New York State Poet Laureate; Dr. Joseph Bruchac, Saratoga Springs Poet Laureate; Georgia Popoff, Onondaga County Poet Laureate; and Paula Curci, Nassau County Poet Laureate. The events promise to be enriching, with a special reception slated for April 18th in New York City where the new NYS Youth Poet Laureate for 2024-2025 will be announced.

Participating Venues and Events

An array of literary organizations such as Writers & Books, the Adirondack Writing Center, and the Hudson Valley Writers Center, among others, will host a myriad of activities. These events are designed to appeal to a wide audience, from seasoned aficionados to those just dipping their toes into the poetic waters. The Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute, along with El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 and Girls Write Now, are also set to feature, ensuring the week has something special for everyone.

How to Engage with New York State of Poetry

For those eager to immerse themselves in this cultural feast, a full list of events and details is available at Social media users can follow the happenings and share their experiences using the hashtag #nystateofpoetry on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

The Role of Supporters

The initiative is backed by the Academy of American Poets, with financial support from the Mellon Foundation, and the Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Inc., which has been at the forefront of integrating creative writing into educational settings since 1967. Their longstanding commitment to fostering literary talent and appreciation is pivotal in making this week possible.

About Willie Perdomo and Teachers & Writers Collaborative

Willie Perdomo is not only celebrated for his impactful poetry but also for his role as an educator at Phillips Exeter Academy. His books, like “The Crazy Bunch” and “Smoking Lovely: The Remix,” reflect his keen insights into urban life and culture. Meanwhile, T&W continues to champion the cause of literature with its innovative programs aimed at nurturing young and old writers alike.

This April, whether you find yourself near the bustling streets of New York City or the serene landscapes of the Adirondacks, the New York State of Poetry invites you to partake in celebrating the poetic spirit that is an integral part of New York’s identity.

New York State of Poetry Celebration and Reading

April 18 @ 6-8pm

Hosted by Girls Write Now
247 W 37th St #1000, New York, NY 10018

Join us for a celebration of the New York State of Poetry with a reception and readings.  We’ll also be announcing the 2024-25 New York State Youth Poet Laureate!

Willie Perdomo, 2021-2023 NY State Poet Laureate
Stephanie Pacheco, 2023-2024 NY State Youth Poet Laureate

Ricardo Maldonado, Executive Director, The Academy of American Poets

Refreshments will be served. This is event is free and open to the public.