It’s National Poetry Month in NYC Parks in All Five Boroughs

 

 

 

National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

The second annual Park Poems initiative enhances parks citywide with site-specific poetry installations, in partnership with the Poetry Society of America

Today, NYC Parks and the Poetry Society of America officially unveiled five new installations bringing poetry to New York’s public parks through the Park Poems initiative. Coinciding with National Poetry Month, these unveilings represent the second batch of poems to grace New York’s public parks since the initiative was launched last year. 

National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

Park Poems transforms poems into site-specific works of public art. Installed in harmony with the surrounding landscape and park infrastructure, the poems reflect on a variety of themes, from the emotional impact of nature to the beauty and dynamism of basketball.

“With these beautiful, thought-provoking poetry installations, we’re enriching five parks throughout the city and helping New Yorkers engage with their favorite public spaces in new ways,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “These poems, carefully woven into the landscapes of these parks and playgrounds, invite visitors to reflect on life in the big city. This initiative builds on our commitment at Parks to creating and maintaining spaces for relaxation, wonder, and reflection, and I am so grateful to the Poetry Society of America for their great partnership on this initiative.” 

National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

“The aim of the Poetry Society is to make poetry part of their daily life for every New Yorker by placing poems in the most inclusive and democratic public spaces,” said Matt Brogan, executive director of the Poetry Society of America. “Public parks are an essential part of this social fabric—places to walk, play, gather with family and friends, or simply breathe. These poetry installations offer park visitors the opportunity to commune with imaginative language in unexpected ways, inspiring moments of surprise, wonder, and reflection.”

National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

“Parks are already pretty places for playful pastimes, but add in poetry, and you’ve got a plan for paramount pleasure!” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “Park Poems enhances our outdoor spaces and enriches our collective experience with the power of poetry. By fostering connections between people, this program serves as a beautiful reminder of the diverse voices and narratives that make up the fabric of our city. I commend NYC Parks and the Poetry Society of America for their collaborative effort in bringing world-class poetry to the heart of our communities.”

National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

NYC Parks and the Poetry Society are displaying poems in the following five public parks: 

  • Bronx: Jerome Slope, “Return to the City / Regreso a la Ciudad” by Manuel Ulacia (English/Spanish)
  • Brooklyn: 100% Playground, “Slam, Dunk, & Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Manhattan: J. Hood Wright Park, “Trappings” by Noelle Kocot
  • Staten Island: Richmond Terrace Park, “Wish” by Hoa Nguyen
  • Queens: Torsney/Lou Lodati Park Playground, “Cut Shadows” by Ron Padgett
National Poetry Month in New York City Parks. Image courtesy NYC Parks

The Poetry Society and NYC Parks first launched Park Poems in April 2023. Since its inception, the program has served as an inspiration for similar partnerships with state and national parks, including You Are Here, the signature project of Poet Laureate Ada Limón, which champions the ways reading and writing poetry can situate us in the natural world.

The installations will remain on view for approximately one year. The poets selected hail from New York City and around the world, and non-English poetry is presented in both the original language and English translation.

Take a look back at National Poetry Month in NYC Parks last year.

Remembering The Poetry Jukebox in 2019 and 2018.