a poetry place

August 8, 2022

Should you find yourself in New York City, you may want to pay a visit to the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street), where the American Poets Corner “memorializes the literature of our nation in all its surprise, wit and beauty.”

Modeled on the Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, the American Poets Corner was dedicated in 1984. A Poet-in-Residence serves a term of five years and appoints a group of Electors to nominate and consult on the selection of inductees (writers deceased for at least 25 years), whose names, dates, and poetic quotes are engraved on stones within the cathedral. The current Poet-in-Residence, appointed in 2020, is Marie Howe, and the most recent inductee (2020) was Audre Lorde. Events include an annual induction ceremony as well as an annual reading of selections from Dante’s Inferno.

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