Arts & Entertainment
Poetic License (and Leases)
by Mallory Passuite, 02/15/2012
Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Photo: Alex Lopez
As much poetic history as the City has to offer, there are also plenty of places to enjoy the art form today. Poets House, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, is a 50,000-volume poetry library and literary center that is free and open to the public. It hosts regular readings and exhibitions and sponsors an annual poetry walk across the Brooklyn Bridge—the inspiration for poems ranging from Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" to Jack Kerouac's "Brooklyn Bridge Blues"—each spring.
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe started in the East Village living-room salon of writer and poet Miguel Algarin, and the venue has featured live spoken-word performances for the past 35 years. The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, which has hosted the likes of Ginsberg and Ashbery, offers weekly readings and workshops and edits its own annual literary publication, The Recluse. And, among other acts at the Bowery Poetry Club, you can still experience the work of one of the last-living Andy Warhol superstars, Taylor Mead, who performs on Mondays.