The largest poetry event in America!

October 22nd through Sunday October 25th, 2020. 

For four days Newark’s vibrant downtown Arts District will host the Festival, featuring some of our most celebrated, diverse and vibrant poets and spoken word artists.

Elizabeth Alexander • Ellen Bass • Richard Blanco • Eavan Boland • Marilyn Chin • Kwame Dawes • Cornelius Eady • Martín Espada • Nikky Finney • Carolyn Forché • Vievee Francis • Forrest Gander • Linda Gregerson • Joy Harjo • Terrance Hayes • Brenda Hillman • Edward Hirsch • Marie Howe • Tyehimba Jess • Ada Limón • Alicia Ostriker • Paisley Rekdal • Charles Simic • David St. John • Natasha Trethewey



National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

The nation’s original cowboy poetry
and music festival


January 27 – February 1, 2020

Cowboy Poetry Gathering started 35 years ago as a place where Western ranchers and cowboys could gather to share poems about their lives working cattle. From the beginning, it was clear these men and women had found their tribe, an artistic community that few knew existed. Three decades later, the tribe is now a nation of Western poets, musicians, artisans and storytellers, sharing their creativity across the country, telling their stories of hard work, heartbreak and hilarity, and what it means to make your way in the rangeland West.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is six days of poetry, music, dancing, workshops, exhibits, conversations, food and fellowship, rooted in tradition but focused on today’s rural West. Join us in Elko, Nevada, in January, and celebrate the arts and cultures of the American West.


Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival

The world’s largest youth poetry festival!

5 weeks & 120 teams from high schools, middle schools, or community organizations compete slam-style in poetry bouts.

February – Aril 2020.

Vocalo + YCA Winter Block Party  – Metro Chicago – Co-presented by Vocalo and WBEZ, this is an annual family-friendly celebration of hip-hop’s present and future. The event brings together Chicago’s finest artists to create an indoor block party featuring a hip-hop marketplace, art gallery, free workshops, and live performances.

Preliminary Bouts – Columbia College – stretching over 2 weeks t his first round of our slam-style poetry competition features performances by hundreds of youth poets from schools and community organizations from all sides of the city & beyond. Preliminary Bouts will be held at various times on Wednesdays – Saturdays.

Queeriosity  – Young Chicago Authors – An open mic and creative safe space for queer & questioning youth and their friends.

Louder Than A Bomba –   This is open mic features and evening of music, poetry and performance that celebrate Latinx artists.

Louder Than A Prom –   An all-city alternative prom for Chicago youth. A space for young people to celebrate prom season and be unapologetically themselves. Featuring Chicago’s finest DJ’s, special guest artists, a photobooth and an introvert corner with board games.


Friday April 17th–Sunday April 19th.

Prior festivals have featured Jimmy Santiago Baca, Robert Bly, Anna Castillo, Wanda Coleman, Russell Edson, Allen Ginsberg, Sam Hamill, Carolyn Kizer, Maxine Kumin, Sharon Olds, Alberto Rios, Sonia Sanchez, David Shapiro, Gary Snyder, and most recently Claudia Rankine. Click here for updates on the 2020 program.

Please contact the presenting organizations directly to confirm logistics and acquire tickets.

To suggest other poetry events to be listed here or to correct information, please email AmericanPoetryToday@gmail.com.

Thank you.



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Narrators of 9/11: Power of the Word

Brooklyn Historical Society presents Wolfgang Staehle’s work, “2001” a dual channel video work that captured, tragically, the approach and impact of hijacked planes Flight 11 and Flight 175. Days prior, Staehle had set up unmanned webcams in Brooklyn for a project conveying the predictable normalcy of life. Instead, those cameras chronicled the transformation of a routine workday into a city under siege. The film will be screened on 9/11 in real-time throughout the day, starting at 8:30am. In the evening, Jessica Chen, Senior Director of Programs at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, moderates a conversation at 7pm with journalist Garrett M. Graffauthor of The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, and Latinx poet Giannina Braschi, author of United States of Banana, among others Brooklyn Historical Society.

The 2019 Brooklyn Book Festival, the largest free literary event in New York City. Poets include Hala Alyan, Jericho Brown, Tina Chang, Nick Flynn, Rigoberto González, Ilya Kaminsky, Sally Wen Mao, Ladan Osman, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, and more. Brooklyn Borough Hall.

“Page Meets Stage: Yusef Komunyakaa and Ross Gay“. Fondly called by regulars, “Where the Pulitzer Prize meets the Poetry Slam,” this event invites two different poets take the stage to read back and forth, poem for poem, in what they call “the ongoing conversation about where poetry lives”. Bowery Poetry Club.

“A Tribute to Mary Oliver with Coleman Barks, Eve Ensler, Maria Shriver, Lisa Starr, Lindsay Whalen, and more. Co-sponsored by the 92Y, Penguin Press, Poets House, and the Poetry Society of America.   92nd Street Y.

“Renascence: Edna St. Vincent Millay Today.”  Karen Alkalay-Gut, Diana Hume George, Marilyn Hacker, Alicia Ostriker, Marie Howe, Joan Larkin, Kimiko Hahn, Shara McCallum, Joan Murray, Tess O’Dwyerand Afaa Michael Weaver read Millay. Organized in collaboration with the Creative Writing Program at The New School and cosponsored by the Poetry Foundation.

Edna St Vincent Millay Poet

Poetry@the Century with the Academy of American Poets will present Brad Gooch and Maryam Mortaz reading from and discussing their new edition of the medieval Persian poet Rumi—RUMI: UNSEEN POEMS—published by Everyman’s Library.  The Century Association.

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“A Tribute to W. S. Merwin” features Sonnet Coggins, Robert Hass, Edward Hirsch, Howard Norman, Naomi Shihab Nye, Michael Ondaatje, Tracy K. Smith, John Burnham Schwartz, Michael Wiegers, and Terry Tempest Williams. Cosponsored by the 92Y, Copper Canyon Press, The Merwin Conservancy, Poets House, and the Poetry Society of America. 92nd Street Y.

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EXHIBITION: Walt Whitman’s Words – Inspiring Artists Today

The Center for Book Arts celebrates Walt Whitman‘s bi-centennial with the exhibition Walt Whitman’s Words: Inspiring Artists Today. Curator Deirdre Lawrence will be in conversation with artists in the show to discuss the exhibition themes and Whitman’s legacy.  In addition to his work as a poet, he is remembered as a book designer, printer, essayist, and journalist. The Bard of Democracy broke the mold in his prolific writings calling for equality, inclusivity, and a more humanist world for all to live in. The Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, 3rd Fl, New York, NY. Free and open to the public.

Walt Whitman Center for Book Arts

Poets House presents Elizabeth Alexander, Alicia Ostriker, Marie Howe, Alberto Ríos, Natasha TretheweyForrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Khaled Mattawa, Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes, Linda Gregerson, Terrance Hayes, and David St. John.

An intimate conversation about the life and work of Emily Dickinson with Academy Chancellor Marie Howe, author of Magdalene and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, and Madeleine Olnek, director of the 2018 film Wild Nights with Emily. Academy of American Poets presents a free series of conversations exploring how different art forms engage with poetry. These conversations pair some of today’s most intriguing poets with accomplished artists, dancers, chefs, and actors. Housing Works Bookstore Café.

Academy of American Poets






Please contact the presenting organizations directly to confirm logistics and acquire tickets.

To suggest other poetry events to be listed here or to correct information, please email AmericanPoetryToday@gmail.com.

Thank you.



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