Get Ready for The 2024 NYC Poetry Festival, July 13-14 on Governors Island




From our archives, The Poetry Society of New York ~ The Typewriter Project in Tompkins Square Park, 2015

The 13th annual New York City Poetry Festival will take place, rain or shine, on July 13th and July 14th from 11:00am to 6:00pm in Nolan Park, Governors Island. This years headliners will include Kazim Ali, Katie Farris, Safia Elhillo, and Ilya Kaminsky. The Event is Free, or visitors to the Festival can opt for a VIP ticket option.

The Festival draws over 15,000 attendees each year, and is designed for audiences of all ages.

Image courtesy NYC Poetry Society

A little about this year’s headliners:

Kazim Ali ~ Poet, editor, and prose writer Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian descent and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. He earned a BA and MA from the University at Albany-SUNY and an MFA from New York University.

In 2003 Ali co-founded Nightboat Books and served as the press’s publisher until 2007. He has received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, and his poetry has been featured in Best American Poetry. Ali has been a regular columnist for the American Poetry Review and a contributing editor for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Writer’s Chronicle. He is a former member of the Cocoon Theatre Modern Dance Company.

Ali has taught at Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, Naropa University, and the low-residency Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. He is currently professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

Image courtesy NYC Poetry Society

Katie Farris ~ Katie Farris is the author of the memoir-in-poems, Standing in the Forest of Being Alive from Alice James Books (US) and Liverpool University Press (UK), which was listed as a Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 10 Poetry Books for 2023. She is also the author of the hybrid-form text boysgirls, (Marick Press, 2011; Tupelo Press 2019), and the chapbooks A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, winner of the 2021 Chad Walsh Poetry Award, Thirteen Intimacies (Fivehundred Places, 2017), and Mother Superior in Hell (Dancing Girl, 2019). Most recently she is winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, and Poetry, and has been commissioned by MoMA. She is the co-translator of several books of poetry from the Ukrainian, French, Chinese, and Russian, most recently, The Country Where Everyone’s Name is Fear, Translations of Lydmila and Boris Khersonsky. She graduated with an MFA from Brown University, and is currently Visiting Associate Professor of Poetry at Princeton University.

Image courtesy NYS Poetry Society

Safia Elhillo ~ Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. She is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award; Girls That Never Die (One World, 2022), featured on the Indie Bestseller list the week of September 7, 2022; and the novel in verse Home Is Not a Country(Make Me a World, 2021), longlisted for the National Book Award and winner of a California Book Award and an Author Honor from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. With Fatimah Asghar, she is coeditor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).

She has received support as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow, a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and a Cave Canem Fellow. She won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 30 Under 30. Her work has been translated into several languages and commissioned by Under Armour, Ilia, Cuyana, and the Bavarian State Ballet. She lives in Los Angeles.

Image courtesy NYC Poetry Society

Ilya Kaminsky ~ Poet Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four after a doctor misdiagnosed mumps as a cold, and his family was granted political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York. After his father’s death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English. He explained in an interview with the Adirondack Review, “I chose English because no one in my family or friends knew it—no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.”

Kaminsky’s honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Milton Center’s Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy’s George Bennett Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, and an Academy of American Poets fellowship. He coedited, with Susan Harris, the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (2010), and edited and co-translated Polina Barskova’s This Lamentable City (2010). He has also served as the editor of the online journal In Posse Review. He lives in San Diego.

Image courtesy NYC Poetry Society

The Festival is comprised of five main stages: The Brinkley, The Algonquin, The White Horse, The Blackbird, and The Beckett,  with hundreds of literary organizations sharing these stages. In addition, an open-air artisans market, wonderful “Smorgasburg-worthy’ food trucks, interactive installations, a visual arts gallery, a Youth Poetry Festival + more.


The Governors Island ferries are free before Noon each day. After that, payment of $3 roundtrip. Visitors can also take the NYC Ferry for $2.75 each way.

Follow The New York City Poetry Festival on Facebook, X and Instagram.

The Poetry Society of New York is a fully tax-deductible 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Follow the fabulous events and activities on Governors Island Here.

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