Take part in something special this Friday, in honor of yourself, your friends, your mother, your heroes… From 4 to 6pm in our West Broadway store, NYC poet and PSNY Executive Assistant Jackie Braje will be writing poems on the spot for our guests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please RSVP here
, and read on to learn more about The Poetry Society and Jackie’s favorite word in the English language.
Why do you think the NYC poetry scene once found comfort in isolation?
I guess my counterquestion would be, was it ever comfortable?
With the start of the Poetry Brothel in ’08, did you encounter any animosity for bringing poetry back into the spotlight?
I didn’t join the cast until many years later, but the Brothel has definitely received some attention over the years just as anything subversive does. A critic once called the show “unwieldy,” but we took that as a compliment.
Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski, the founders of the organization, started the New York City Poetry Festival nine years ago, which is held every summer on Governors Island and completely free and open to the public. It feels a lot like PSNY’s way of giving a big bouquet of roses to the city — there’s a lot of love that goes into it. The Poetry Brothel performed at Art Basel in Miami this past December. Milk Press, our collaborative publishing arm, started up a year ago. We also recently launched our Typewriter Poets service and have since partnered with cool brands like the A&E Network, Opening Ceremony, Rag & Bone, The Strand, etc… And Free People! I could go on. I’m very proud of this company.
Share with us 3 of your most cherished and influential poets and why – can you share a few lines of his/her work?
Mary Ruefle, Louise Gluck, and Frank Bidart. They’ve all changed my idea of what’s possible in language in really big ways.
You cannot teach a tree to talk
Trees can say it is spring
but not though bright sunlight
can also be very sad
have you noticed?
“White Buttons,” Mary Ruefle
You’ve adopted several initiatives in order to promote the art of poetry – Typewriter Project, Milk Press… has one proven more engaging/effective than the others?
The New York City Poetry Festival is effective in that it brings together one of the biggest poetry communities I personally have ever seen (14,000 people!), but I don’t know if I can call one initiative more engaging or effective than another. They’re all so unique and touch on so many different aesthetics and interests. Different strokes for different folks?
Tell us how The Poetry Society of New York plans to celebrate International Women’s Day.
We’re honored to celebrate by lifting people up with poetry at Free People. But to us it’s never not Women’s Day, whatever the definition of “woman” means for you.
Any advice for budding writers?
Keep budding. There’s never enough growing to do.
Favorite word in any language:
air. the muted
a budding crocus.
towel, silver shears.