Poetry Reading
Photo of Brittney Leeanne Williams's artwork titled "Naomi and Ruth: Bougainvillea"
Brittney Leeanne Williams, Naomi and Ruth: Bougainvillea, 2020, oil on canvas, 52 x 54 inches

Virtual Poetry Readings

Fridays at 12pm
Online Event
Friday, July 23, 2021
12:00 pm –  1:00 pm

We invite you to join us for a weekly virtual gathering every Friday at 12pm. We’ll take turns sharing poems that have encouraged us during this time.

Once you RSVP, you’ll receive a zoom link as well as the chance to sign up for poems to read.

READING #60 (JULY 23):

“Dark Testament Verse 8” by Pauli Murray
“Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou
“On Being Told Prayer Is a Crutch” by Marcus Wicker
“Crossing” by Jericho Brown

READING #59 (JULY 16):

“won’t you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton
“There Are Birds Here” by Jamaal May
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson


“Common Dust” by Georgia Douglas Johnson
“Ghana Calls” by W.E.B. Du Bois
“Heritage” by Countee Cullen

READING #57 (JUNE 25):

“Jubilee Proclamation” by Tyejimba Jess
“The Blues Don’t Change” by Al Young
“Poem (for the Blues Singers”) by Sterling Plumpp
“The Source of Singing” by Marilyn Nelson Waniek
“how we got our blues-tongue” by Destiny Hemphill

READING #56 (JUNE 18):

“St. Peter Claver” by Toi Derricotte
“Mystic Bounce” by Terrance Hayes
“Goodbye Christ” by Langston Hughes
“Hagar in the Wilderness” by Tyehimba Jess
“little prayer” by Danez Smith

READING #55 (JUNE 11):

“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Dunbar, 1895
“Prophecy” by Pauli Murray, 1943
“I, Too” by Langston Hughes, 1925


“Desire” by Alice Walker
“The day, with all its pain ahead, is yours” by Derek Walcott
“Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit” by Alice Walker
“To Change The World Enough” by Alice Walker
“Love After Love” by Derek Walcott

READING #53 (MAY 21):

“Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [Mahalia Jackson is a genius.]” by Claudia Rankine
“Frederick Douglass” by Robert Hayden
“Martin Luther King Jr.” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“What Would Gwendolyn Brooks Do” by Parneshia Jones

READING #52 (MAY 14):

“Ars Poetica” by Marcus Wicker
“Churchgoing” by Marilyn Nelson
“Sam Lord” by Kamau Brathwaite
“Meta-A and the A of Absolutes” by Jay Wright
“I Dream A World” by Langston Hughes

READING #51 (MAY 7):

“at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989” by Lucille Clifton
“Not My Bones” by Marilyn Nelson
“Errancities” by Quincy Troupe
“I saw Emmett Till this week at the grocery store” by Eve L. Ewing


“Housekeeping” by Natasha Trethewey
“For the Confederate Dead” by Kevin Young
“Owed to the Plastic on Your Grandmother’s Couch” by Joshua Bennett
“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
“cutting greens” by Lucille Clifton


“American Smooth” by Rita Dove
“Blue Light Lounge Sutra For The Performance Poets At Harold Park Hotel”
By Yusef Komunyakaa
“Jazz is My Religion” by Ted Joans
“Sissieretta Jones” by Tyehimba Jess
“Paul Robeson” by Gwendolyn Brooks


“Songs for the People” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, c. 1860s
“Sympathy” by Paul Dunbar, 1899
“For My People” by Margaret Walker, 1942
“An Earth Song” by Langston Hughes, c. 1947
from “Book of Hours” by Kevin Young, 2014


“Catch the Fire” by Sonia Sanchez
“Listen Lord: A Prayer” by James Weldon Johnson
“Pentecost” by Malcolm Guite
“To S. M. A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works” by Phillis Wheatley
“spring song” by Lucille Clifton


“A Walk to Sope Creek” by David Bottoms
“Heaven” by Cathy Song
“lo scientificamente mi domando” by Patrizia Cavalli (translation by Gini Alhadeff)
“We Have Been Whispering in Each Other’s Ears for Centuries” by Lorna Simpson
“Earth Prayer” by Black Elk


“I will Greet the Sun Again” by Forough Farrokhzad
“Poplar Street” by Chen Chen
“Meditations on a Grapefruit” by Craig Arnold
“Eating the Earth” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
“Prayer” by Maya Angelou


“Farewell to A Friend” by Li Bai
“Taking Leave of Cambridge Again” by Xu Zhi Mo
“A Traveler’s Song” by Meng Jiao
“The Forecast” by Wendy Xu
“A Green Stream” by Wang Wei


“Genealogy” by Jennifer Chang
“My Father and Myself Facing the Sun” by Lawson Fusao Inada
“Spell to Find Family” by Chen Chen
“Heaven” by Cathy Song


“Summoning The Lime Tree” by Kerry McPherson
“For Tin, Who Packed Meat” by Kerry McPherson
“Lunation” by Kerry McPherson
“Pelican” by Kerry McPherson
“Agreement” by Kerry McPherson


“Talking to God About Heaven from the Bed of a Heathen” by Chen Chen
“Black Love” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Adore” by Li Young Lee
“Batter my heart, three-person’d God” by John Donne
“Coal” by Audre Lorde
“To my Retired Friend Wei” by Tu Fu


Three Translations of “Quiet Night Thoughts” by Li Bai
“Ten Verses on Ox-Herding”
“Year’s End” by Chen Chen


“Huangguoshu Waterfall” by Yi Lei
“Nature Aria” by Yi Lei
“Between Strangers” by Yi Lei
A selection from “My God, It’s Full of Stars” by Tracy K. Smith
“An Old Story” by Tracy K. Smith


“On the Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou
“Praise Song for the Day” by Elizabeth Alexander
“The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman


The Mountain Poems of Xie Lingyun, 21
“Book of Hours” by Kimberly Johnson
The Mountain Poems of Xie Lingyun, 24
“Mountainal” by Jane Hirshfield
“Climbing Green-Cliff Mountain in Yung-chia” by Xie Lingyun


The Book of Songs is an ancient anthology of Chinese poetry, and one of the Thirteen Classics of Confucius.

  1. Blind Men
  2. Reverence
  3. Servants and Officers
  4. So They Appeared
  5. Glorious Ancestors


“Climbing Long-View Mountain’s Highest Peak” by Meng Hao-jan
“A poem” by Hsieh Ling-Yün
“Spring Dawn” by Meng Hao-Jan
Tao Te Ching, 24


Tao Te Ching, chapter 22
“A Toast for Men Yun-Ch’ing” by Du Fu
“Letters to Du Fu” by Jenny Xie
“The birds have vanished into the sky” by Li Po
“A blessing from the Book of Songs”


“Slant” by Suji Kwock Kim
“Postcard from Trakl” by John Yau
“Against Tradition” by Osmanjan Muhemmed Pas’an
“The Boundary” by Bei Dao


“Look to the New Moon” by Mai Der Vang
“Off the Blossom Trail” by Andre Yang
“On Visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens” by Khaty Xiong
Tao Te Ching, 22


Tao Te Ching, 20
“I Ask My Mother to Sing” by Li-Young Lee
“Things We Carry on the Sea” by Wang Ping
“Learning to love America” by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim
Tao Te Ching, 21


“Chinese Silence No. 22” by Timothy Yu
Tao Te Ching, 15
“Peony” by Marilyn Chin
Tao Te Ching, 16
“Swell” by Hoa Nguyen


Tao Te Ching, 14
“The Other Side of the River” by Xi Chuan
“And the Old Man Speaks of Paradise: a Ghazal” by Wang Ping
“Looking for a Monk and Not Finding Him” by Li Po
Tao Te Ching, 32


“Hello, the Roses, 1” by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
Tao Te Ching, 11
“Hello, the Roses, 2” by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
Tao Te Ching, 12


Tao Te Ching, 8
Tao Te Ching, 9
“Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin
Tao Te Ching, 10
“Beginning” by Lu Ji


Tao Te Ching 6
“Study of Two Figures (Pasiphaë/Sado)” by Monica Youn
Tao Te Ching 7


Tao Te Ching, 2
“I Sit Outside in Low Late-Afternoon Light to Feel Earth Call to Me” by Tracy K. Smith
Tao Te Ching, 3
“Something to Look Forward” To by John Yau
Tao Te Ching, 4


“A Green Stream” by Wang Wei
Tao Te Ching, I
“Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain” by Li Po
“The moon in the water” by Chōshū
“Itinerary” by Jennifer Wong
Tao Te Ching, V


“How We Received Communion” by Rachelle Cruz
“A Tao of Poetry” by Sam Hammill
“How to Kiss Christ’s Feet” by Rachelle Cruz
“Communion at Lunch” by William Stafford
“Litany for Silence” by Rachelle Cruz


A Guest Reading with Jenelle D'Alessandro

“The Traveler’s Vade Mecum, Line 2485: “I Have Not Decided” by Sandra
“ambition in the Ancient Near East makes” by Jenelle D'Alessandro
“lo scientificamente mi domando” by Patrizia Cavalli (translation by Gini Alhadeff)
“WESTERN CIV CONT’D - 1.” by Joan Retallack
“Perseids” by Jenelle D'Alessandro


“Digging” by Seamus Heaney
“At Burt Lake” by Tom Andrews
“Hurrahing in Harvest” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
from “Body and Soul” by Charles Wright
“God speaks to each of us as he makes us” by Rainer Maria Rilke


“Revelations” by Suzi F. Garcia
“heart of the bell” by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes
“Happiness” by Paisley Rekdal
“Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World” by Martín Espada


“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats
“To a Friend with a Religious Vocation” by Elizabeth Jennings
“Nothing is Really Mine Except Krishna” by Mirabai
“On the Beach at Night Alone” by Walt Whitman
Two poems by Izumi Shikibu


“Evensong” by Eileen Chong
“Deep Lane” by Mark Doty
“I Don’t Want to be a Spice Store” by Christian Wiman
“On the Street” by Ruth Stone
“Poem Without an End” by Yehuda Amichai

READING #18 (JULY 31):

“The Elm Tree” by Karen Shenfeld
“The Hope I Know” by Thomas Centolella
“In A Dark Time” by Theodore Roethke
“Evening Prayer” by Vandana Khanna
“Circumference” by Karen Shenfeld

READING #17 (JULY 24):

“Creativity in Quarantine” by Steven Homestead
“Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo
“On the Nature of Hope” by Steven Homestead
“Hope is A Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson
“Of History and Hope” by Miller Williams

READING #16 (JULY 17):

“A Prayer to Talk to Animals” by Nickole Brown
“Eating the Earth” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
“Hard Rain” by Tony Hoagland
“Prayer” by Maya Angelou
“Breath” by Yahia Lababidi

READING #15 (JULY 10):

“The Wild Iris” by Louise Glück
“i thank You God for most this amazing” by e. e. cummings
“The Hoopoe Answers the Peacock” by Attar (Translated by Sholeh Wolpé)
“Bezoar” by Leslie Harrison
“Dusting” by Marilyn Nelson


Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
“To Roosevelt” by Rubén Darío
“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
“I Am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

READING #13 (JUNE 26):

“Nest” by Marianne Boruch
“Praise Song for The Day” by Elizabeth Alexander

“Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limón
“Small Kindnesses” by Danusha Laméris
“A Few Delicate Needles” by Rolf Jacobsen

READING #12 (JUNE 19):

“summer somewhere” by Danez Smith

READING #11 (JUNE 12):

“Blessing of the boats” by Lucille Clifton
“Ars Poetica #100: I Believe” by Elizabeth Alexander
“Testimonial” by Rita Dove
“Requiem for a Nest” by Wanda Coleman
“We Have Been Whispering in Each Other’s Ears for Centuries” by Lorna Simpson
“Art” by Gwendolyn Brooks


A Guest Reading with Fred Schmalz

“To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian” by Ross Gay
“The Only Word a Tree Knows” by Naomi Shihab Nye
“How It Stands” by Liu Xia
“Elegy” by Juliet Patterson
“Convince Me You Have a Seed There (Johnson, VT)” by Brian Teare
“Foraging in the woods” by Fred Schmalz
“Visiting the dead” by Fred Schmalz

READING #9 (MAY 29):

“Asking the Way” by Ko Un
“Fields of Sunflowers” by Yehuda Amichai
“Public Grief” by Heid E. Erdrich
“Orchard” by Yehuda Amichai
“Poplar Street” by Chen Chen

READING #8 (MAY 22):

“To Be Held” by Linda Hogan
“Piute Creek” by Gary Snyder
“spring song” by Lucille Clifton
“A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman
“Prayers: I” by Kadya Molodowsky

READING #7 (MAY 15):

A Guest Reading with James McMichaels

“Life Says” by James McMichaels
“Coming” by Philip Larkin
“When First We Faced, And Touching Showed” by Philip Larkin
“Absences” by Philip Larkin


“God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
“The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy
Psalm 1 in the Jewish Tanakh
“To a Skylark” by Percy Shelley
“In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being” by Denise Levertov


“Words” by Dana Gioia
“The Grasses Cried Out” by Saadi of Shiraz
“The Beaks of Eagles” by Robinson Jeffers
“Although the wind …” by Izumi Shikibu
a poem by Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros


“A Bird Came Down A Walk” by Emily Dickinson
“The Future of Forestry” by C.S. Lewis
“The Tyger” by William Blake
“The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop
“The Beaks of Eagles” by Robinson Jeffers
“Wedding Poem” by Ross Gay


“Meditations on a Grapefruit” by Craig Arnold
“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer
“A Walk to Sope Creek” by David Bottoms
“What It Looks Like To Us and the Words We Use” by Ada Limón
“I Will Greet the Sun Again” by Forugh Farrokhzad


“Remember” by Joy Harjo
“Autumn” by Jane Hirshfield
a selection from “alphabet” by Inger Christensen
a selection from “A Sand Almanac” by Aldo Leopold
“The Islanders” by Kerry Elizabeth McPherson
“Earth Prayer” by Black Elk


“When I Am Among Trees" by Mary Oliver
“Speaking Tree” by Joy Harjo
“Beannacht” by John O’Donohue
“From Blossoms” by Li Young Lee
“When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
“Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar