Founded by Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski in 2008, The Poetry Society of New York brings poetry into the 21st Century.
The Poetry Society of New York has a simple mission: to redefine and reestablish poetry's essential position in the culture-at-large. The society accomplishes this mission by:
a) creating new models for the presentation of poetry;
b) fostering vibrant, progressive poetry communities across the globe;
c) cultivating relationships in the worlds of art, literature, design, and commerce, and;
d) presenting the works of New York City poets to the world
The New York City poetry world has largely isolated itself to a small & fragmented circle. The Poetry Society of New York moves through & opens up that circle to unite the community of makers with the community of appreciators in fresh and unconventional ways.
The Poetry Society of New York first emerged under the guise of The Poetry Brothel at The Living Theater in 2008. The Poetry Brothel was conceived as a performance art event aimed at fostering intimacy, urgency and exaltation within the New York poetry community, and at expanding that community to include a more diverse population of artists. At that time, New York City, the place perceived by thousands of young writers to be the epicenter of the contemporary poetry world, felt boring. Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara and Edna St. Vincent Millay had quit running amok decades earlier, and a clear vitalizing alternative was required. The Poetry Brothel provided one cure: a pastiche of back-alley history and literary revelry, this event series remedied the monotony of the slam poetry reading’s excessive bravado, and charmed patrons of the one-note, one-format academic poetry readings out of their fold-up chairs into back rooms for private readings.
But it wasn’t enough. The Poetry Brothel bridged social boundaries between individuals, but soon, Berger and Adamski felt the need to cross literal borders. They created The Translation Project in the hopes of opening the lines of communication between New York poets and poets living abroad, but in order to get funding for such a project, it was time to get legal and form a business entity. When the state of New York rejected the business name “The Poetry Brothel,” citing it as “lewd and illegal,” Berger and Adamski requested “The Poetry Society of New York,” and much to their surprise, they got it! Since forming The Poetry Society of New York in 2010, they have produced The New York City Poetry Festival, The Typewriter Project, and countless other projects and expanded The Poetry Brothel into over 25 cities across the globe.