Brooklyn Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization celebrating and cultivating the poets, poetry and literary heritage of Brooklyn, the birthplace of American poetry.
That’s right, birthplace. If you believe, as we do, that with the publication of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in 1855, American poetry was born, then Brooklyn, where that book was published by the Rome Brothers print shop on Old Fulton St, is where that took place.
Over the years, Brooklyn has served as home to and inspired some of the most original and influential poets on the world stage, from Whitman, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, Audre Lorde and June Jordan in the American tradition to expatriate masters such as W. H. Auden and Joseph Brodsky; visiting visionaries such as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Federico García Lorca; and hip-hop pioneers such as Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Guru, MCA, Digable Planets, Biggie Smalls, Lil’ Kim, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Jay Z.
Since our inception in 2012, our core program of small, intensive poetry workshops taught by award-winning poets in their own homes has served over 1600 students and employed over 60 teachers, and we’ve grown to host 29 regular events per year attracting over 2000 attendees annually, fostering a more homegrown, close-knit, diverse community of poets and readers than what we see traditionally offered by graduate writing programs and the American literary community at large. Our community extends through the Bridge, the world’s premier poetry network connecting poets and mentors.