Poetry Forum Reading at NYU
By Kisa Schell
Recently, the Academy of American Poets kicked off their annual Poets Forum with a reading by the Academy of American Poets Chancellors. Held at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU, the evening attracted many tasteful and artistically inclined New Yorkers, reminiscent of a West Village past. The nearly full venue made it clear that poetry is alive and well, with hundreds of enthusiasts eagerly awaiting readings by award-winning poets from across the United States.
Out of the 14 poets, 10 were women. With the topics of poetry ranging from police brutality to an old woman, a tulip and a dog, each and every poet had a unique and evocative perspective on life. Some of the highlights included a powerful reading by Mark Doty of his poem about the Cleveland shooting of a 12-year old boy with a toy gun and a reading by prominent beat poet Anne Waldman, whose performance was nearly as beautiful as her poetry.
Patricia Grodd, accomplished poet, namesake of the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers and active contributor to the American Academy of Poets spoke with Education Update about the significance of poetry. Describing poetry as a “vital language and the ultimate form of communication through which spirituality is embodied,” she eloquently articulated the magic behind poetry. As an incredibly inclusive and free form of expression, poetry provides a new understanding of topics which may otherwise go unnoticed or easily forgotten. In this day and age, poetry is incredibly essential to respond to not only society but the world.
The inspiring evening ended with a reading by U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. Combining his words with his harmonica, his performance left the crowd abuzz with the creative possibilities of poetry. In a world where genuine human interaction and compassion becomes scarcer and scarcer, poetry serves as a creative link to unite. #