In celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Charles Olson’s birth, Poets House is currently hosting an exhibit composed of prints of Olson’s poems and a large selection of his books.
Charles Olson was a Herculean figure in mid-century, American poetry. Immense in stature, wide-scoped, dauntless, “and possessed of an alphabet / before the Greeks”, Olson wielded all of the data that fell within his vast reach to architect his poetry. As his essay, “Projective Verse”, explained, his poems proceeded from his breath, becoming an effect of the body. Here collected are a number of rare Olsonic texts; view their typography and understand what it meant to compose by field.
- Joseph Fritsch, Anna Hezel, and Jon Picco
With the end of September rapidly approaching we New Yorkers can feel the oncoming fall blowing in gently (or like a tornado, as the past weeks have shown us). School has started for college students, high schoolers and kindergartners alike. Boots and coats are being showcased in storefronts. Along with the arrival of cold air and crunchy fallen leaves also comes a new calendar of events at Poets House.
Our new schedule includes readings and conversations with Marie Howe, W. S. Merwin and Gerald Stern, as well as many others. These evening events cover topics from “The Art of Losing” to “Radical Poets and Secular Jewish Culture,” from “The Lost Poetry of World War II” to “Poetry for Children.” Poets and poetry lovers are welcome to come to any and all events and we frequently invite our guests to participate with the authors, providing a Socratic feel, rather than a lecture or traditional reading.
We also have a series of open-enrollment six-week seminars to help writers explore their craft in new ways. You’ll have the opportunity to learn such things as finding the deep core of a poem with Neil Shepard and ways to refresh your style with Patricia Spears Jones.
In addition to these events our library is still open as usual with new books coming in every day and the 2010 showcase collection displayed near the main collection. We also have rotating poetry-related art exhibits throughout the library and in our Cheney Chapel floating exhibition space.
Interning. Something almost every college and high school student experiences, especially those in the arts. It’s how we get a foot in the door of The Industry, learn what will be expected of us, and begin to hone our professional talents. These “jobs” can range from the easy but mundane (filing payroll receipts seven days a week) to challenging and vitally important (interviewing, transcribing and writing for a magazine)—but they’re almost always valuable and provide much more than good references for our future employers.
Interning at Poets House certainly will help those of us who volunteer in our future career moves, but it also provides something more: we’re given opportunities to learn everything from ALA-standard cataloguing to video editing on programs such as Final Cut Pro to writing copy for event listings throughout various media. And while we might range in age and experience, none of the interns—or staff—at Poets House are lacking in spirit. As coworkers on projects and friends after hours we’ve formed a sort of family quickly.
Between our assignments, patrons, events, literary debates and after-hours adventures we Poets House interns, dubbed “Guide Stars” at the 2010 Bridge Walk (Poets House’s annual Gala), have accumulated plenty of stories to share. And here we’ll be doing just that.