Poetry Near You

Find poetry readings, workshops, festivals, conferences, literary organizations, and poetry-friendly bookstores, and learn more about poets laureate, in your area.

To find poetry events and resources near you, simply enter your state in the filter or your zip code in the search field below. You can also Explore Your State to find out more information about your local poets laureate, festivals, conferences, writing programs, literary organizations, landmarks, and more.

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See a list of all state poets laureate.

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Behind Perfume, Only Solitude

Ink will come.  Lamp lung
breathes light at the edge
of an idea.  The edge
an idea, also the door

of the room 
that silence opens.

The pen sighs, a lens
for the shut-in light.
Breathe me, light.
Have the idea to have me.

After Anna Akhmatova

As the future ripens in the past...
a terrible festival of dead leaves

—Anna Akhmatova

The trees talk quietly among themselves
the thrush sings its brown song brushed with blue
the roses from the bodega open in the vase

and under the streetlight the long shadows
tarnishing the day as we know it—if
I ask for a stone you give me a stone, 

if I ask for water I do not get water,
everything I love weighted and found
wanting, as if the world knew how to give

answers to questions. In the long generous
shadow of history, I wake and wonder
how long it can go on, my lips touching

your ear, asking, what are you thinking—
while in the capital the lion stalks his cage
and on the veld the scorched banyans bend

under their fruit, the camps charred, no one
to pick it. A long time ago, after months
when death came so quickly to us it was

as if we had written an invitation, crows
settled in the ghost trees. There is my
mother, you said, and my father. It goes on.

Aunt Jane Allen

  State Street is lonely to-day. Aunt Jane Allen has driven her chariot to Heaven.
  I remember how she hobbled along, a little woman, parched of skin, brown as the leather of a satchel and with eyes that had scanned eighty years of life. 
  Have those who bore her dust to the last resting place buried with her the basket of aprons she went up and down State Street trying to sell? 
  Have those who bore her dust to the last resting place buried with her the gentle word Son that she gave to each of the seed of Ethiopia?