The Blaney Lecture

The Blaney Lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics is offered annually in New York City by a prominent poet. Past lectures have been given by Sharon Olds, Joy Harjo, Richard Blanco, Carolyn Forche, Elizabeth Alexander, Susan Howe, and Anne Carson. The lecture was created in memory of former Academy of American Poets Board member Dr. Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney, past president of Cedar Crest College and champion of women and education, by a gift from her estate.

On Thursday, February 23, 2020, Academy Chancellor Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin and recipient of the 2010 National Book Award for Lighthead, will deliver the 2019 Blaney Lecture at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House in New York City.

The 2019 Blaney Lecture is co-presented by the Academy of American Poets and the NYU Creative Writing Program. Free with registration.


Past Blaney Lectures

Alicia Ostriker, Containing Multitude: Poetry and the City, 2018

Claudia Rankine, 2017

On November 30, 2017, Academy Chancellor and author of the best-selling Citizen, Claudia Rankine, delivered the Blaney Lecture at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. This event marked fifty years since the Academy launched poetry events at the Guggenheim with the first-ever public reading of “The Dream Songs” by John Berryman in 1967.

Sharon OldsFavorite Moments in Poems from Chaucer to Clifton2016


Joy Harjo, Ancestors: A Mapping of Indigeneous Poetry & Poets, 2015

read the transcript >


Richard Blanco, On Becoming A Presidential Inaugural Poet, 2014


Carolyn ForchéNot Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness, 2013

read the transcript >


Elizabeth Alexander, Rethinking Lucille Clifton, 2012


Susan Howe, The Whispered Rush, Telepathy of Archives, 2011

read the transcript >


Anne Carson, 2010

read the transcript >


Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths