Named one of the best reading series in NYC as well as one of the 50 best free things to do in the city by Time Out New York, the Brooklyn Poets Reading Series takes place bimonthly at select venues in Brooklyn, with a summer stop on Governor’s Island. Readings are free and open to the public.
Each reading features three poets, with at least one from Brooklyn. We take pride in featuring emerging poets alongside more established poets, making a special effort to include those from underrepresented communities. Readings are curated by Jason Koo. For inquiries, contact us.
Elisabet Velasquez is a Latina writer, performer and Madre from Bushwick, Brooklyn. She began performing in 2009 under the stage name Ms. Sick Prose, a name she chose to escape an environment surrounded by mental illness. Writing has become the medium for her escape. She earned a spot on the 2009 Nuyorican Poets Café National Slam Team, for which she helped achieve a fourth-place finish nationwide. Velasquez has also performed at several universities across the country and been featured at venues including the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. She is the author of the chapbook PTSD and her work has been published in Muzzle, Centro Voces, Elephant Journal and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology.
t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, the African American Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Obsidian, Poetry, the Brooklyn Poets Anthology and many other venues. She is a coeditor of the Brooklyn-based literary magazine No, Dear. Her first poetry collection, how to get over, is available from Red Hen Press. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally @ shesaidword.com.
Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry for his collection The Performance of Becoming Human, Daniel Borzutzky is a Chilean American writer and translator living in Chicago. His other poetry books are In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, The Book of Interfering Bodies, The Ecstasy of Capitulation and the chapbook Failure in the Imagination. He has published one collection of fiction, Arbitrary Tales. His books of translation include Song for his Disappeared Love by Raul Zurita and Port Trakl by Jaime Luis Huenun.
Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, forthcoming from Ecco, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker and elsewhere. She holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director of Cave Canem.
Emily Skillings is the author of two chapbooks: Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Her first full-length collection of poetry, Fort Not, will be published by the Song Cave in 2017. Recent poems can be found or are forthcoming in the Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, LitHub, Jubilat, Pleiades, Phantom Limb, Philadelphia Review of Books and Washington Square. The recipient of a 2017 Pushcart Prize, she is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where she is a 2017 Teaching Fellow, and organizes the Earshot reading series with Allyson Paty. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series.
The recipient of a 2017 NEA fellowship, Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer and performer from St. Paul, MN. They are the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead, forthcoming from Graywolf Press. They are also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (Penmanship Books, 2013) and black movie (Button Poetry, 2015), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, and their work has been featured widely, including on Buzzfeed, Blavity, PBS NewsHour and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They are a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, three-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion, and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective.