Named one of the best reading series in NYC as well as one of the 50 best free things to do in the city by Time Out New York, the Brooklyn Poets Reading Series takes place bimonthly at select venues in Brooklyn, with a summer stop on Governor’s Island. Readings are free and open to the public.
Each reading features three poets, with at least one from Brooklyn and one from outside the borough, pairing emerging with more established poets and focusing on those from underrepresented communities. Readings are curated by Jason Koo. For inquiries, contact us.
Poet, storyteller and essayist Roberto Carlos Garcia is the author of black / Maybe (Willow Books, 2019) and Melancolía (Červená Barva Press, 2016) and the founder of the cooperative press Get Fresh Books Publishing. His poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, The BreakBeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNEXT, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day and many other publications. A self-described “sancocho […] of provisions from the Harlem Renaissance, the Spanish Poets of 1929, the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyorican School, and the Modernists,” Garcia is rigorously interrogative of himself and the world around him, conveying “nakedness of emotion, intent, and experience,” and he writes extensively about the Afro-Latinx and Afro-diasporic experience.
Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician and visual artist. She was born in Israel and immigrated to the US when she was six. Her poems explore recovery—of language, of home, of mind—and value the “scattered wholeness” of healing. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and has been awarded the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe and a residency by the Millay Colony. Her work has been featured in the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series, Huffington Post, Seattle Times and New York Times, among other publications. Her debut poetry book, Odes to Lithium, was published by Alice James Books in September 2019. She is also the author and illustrator of the picture book Be/Hold (Penny Candy Books, 2019). When not on tour, she lives in Brooklyn, where she teaches writing and creates.
Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize and the 2018 NAACP Image Award and a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist. She is a Guggenheim fellow, an NEA grant recipient, a former fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell, a Cave Canem faculty member and a distinguished professor for the City University of New York.
Ama Codjoe is the author of Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press, 2020), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. She has been awarded support from Cave Canem and the Jerome, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations, as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Crosstown Arts, Hedgebrook, and the MacDowell Colony. Her recent poems have appeared in Massachusetts Review, Southern Indiana Review, the Common and elsewhere. Ama is the recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, the Georgia Review’s 2018 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, a 2019 DISQUIET Literary Prize, a 2019 Oscar Williams and Gene Derwood Award and a 2019 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.
John Murillo is the author of Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher, 2010; Four Way Books, 2020), finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award, and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020). His honors include two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a Pushcart Prize, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Cave Canem Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as American Poetry Review and Poetry and the Best American Poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2019. He is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. He lives in Brooklyn.
Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has published three volumes of poetry: The Darker Fall (2002), Want (2008), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize, and Chord (2015), all published by Sarabande Books. Chord received the UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. It was also a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, the New Republic, Tin House, Kenyon Review and the New Yorker. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and Stanford University. He lives in Tacoma, Washington, and directs the Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University. He is also the poetry editor for New England Review. His fourth book of poems, The Galleons, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2020.