I was first brought to the Poets House, national poetry library and literary center, by the poet Indran Amirthanayagam in 1993 when I took his summer writing class at the New School in New York City. I remember being awed by the sheer number of poetry books.
That was back when the Poets House was in a loft on Spring Street in SoHo. I returned a number of times to read as much as possible. I never went often enough, though. I do remember settling in one day before starting graduate school to try to catch up on some of the harder-to-find-books by the poets I would be working with at Sarah Lawrence.
The Poets House has a new home. Last summer, it moved to 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City. They were amazingly fortunate to be designated by the Battery Park City Authority as a rent-free tenant in a new building on the banks of the Hudson River. Rent-free! That’s the value of poetry in our world.
Their space is a gift to all writers and readers of poetry. I briefly visited the space this winter. The shelves upon shelves of poetry books and literary magazines, poetry recordings, displays of poetry broadsides, large windows, open spaces, and comfortable chairs are welcoming and inspiring.
The Poets House holds classes, readings and exhibitions. I look forward to attending and arriving early to read, read, and read.