Aside from being April Fool’s, today was also the first day of National Poetry Month. If you forgot, that’s all right. There are plenty of poetry events happening around town this month to make up for it. Here’s where we’ll be heading to listen to beloved and undiscovered poems alike.
April 1, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, East Village
The Bowery Poetry Club is kicking off National Poetry Month in collaboration with the poetry agency Ars Poetica. Tonight, the club hosts a NYC/Amazon break-up themed dialogue and poetry reading called “Você.” Come to debate corporate tax incentives, stay for the music, comedy, and verse. Comedy Central’s Yedoye Travis, Brown Girls singer-songwriter Ashni, New School economist Richard McGahey, Make the Road NYC’s Deborah Axt/Angeles Solis, and poet ELÆ (aka Lynne DeSilva-Johnson) will get down for some “real talk,” as the Você slogan goes.
Kerouac NYC Festival
April 3-6, La Nacional, West Village // Instituto Cervantes, Midtown // Bowery Poetry Club, East Village
The International Kerouac Poetry & Performance Festival is coming to New York for the fourth year running this April 3-6. The Kerouac Festival, founded in Spain seven years ago, will bring together English-, Spanish-, and Galician-language poets for a weekend of border-crossing poetry. This year’s lineup includes soul singer Wöyza, Galician poet Alberto Avendaño, Mexican cultural activist Rocío Cerón, and Brooklyn Slam champion Anthony McPerson.
April 4, Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, 141 Front St, Dumbo
New York’s only poetry store (yes, you read that right) is bringing together Mexican and international poets previously published by diSONARE, a Mexico City-based editorial project, for a night of readings and performances. Stop by to hear Alice Attie explore her family’s Syrian heritage, Christopher Rey Pérez read from a project about Mexico City’s Tepito neighborhood, and Lucía Hinojosa recount the geographic memory of a natural pond.
Francophone Translation Slam
April 6, La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews, Greenwich Village
Join Nuyorican poets and NYU students for a weekend of Francophone literature at Le Festival des Cinq Continents (co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie to the United Nations and the NYU Center for French Civilization and Culture from April 5-7). On April 6, translators Janet Lee and Andrew Nsirim will compete at translating French-language poems by Arthur Brügger, Fabienne Kanor, Gabriel Marcoux-Chabot and Madeleine Monette. If you’re feeling brave (or bilingual), you’re welcome to join the translating fun.
Ntozake Shange, El Tributo
April 6, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E 3rd St., East Village
Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Puerto Rican Embassy at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe this Saturday. Check out performances by Flemmie Kittrell-Williams, claude e. sloan, Cassandra Cato-Louis, and more, then head over to Loisaida for the afterparty. The show honors American poet, playwright, and black feminist Ntozake Shange, who passed away in October and was best known for her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”