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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday: Joe Krausman, and a Joe Krausman event

If you attended a NYS Writers Institute event in the past 39 years, there's a very good chance Joe Krausman was also in the audience. (Photo credit: Dan Wilcox)

Today's Poetry Friday is all about Joe Krausman. Below you will find details on an upcoming Joe Krausman poetry reading, a Joe Krausman poem, and a poem about Joe Krausman titled ... "Joe Krausman."

Joe Krausman is a writer, poet, theater director, and former legislative analyst with the New York State Assembly. He was the MCA Fellow in Playwriting at Smith College, taught at Grinnell College in Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, and his plays have been staged in Northampton, Amherst, Iowa, Holyoke, Scotland, and New York City.

He was featured in a Times Union story in June upon the publication of his book Parabolic Dishes (2022, The Troy Book Makers). Dan Wilcox, Joe's longtime friend who organizes the Third Thursday Poetry Night has been at the Social Justice Center, was quoted in the article:

"Joe is an all-around good guy," Wilcox said, "with a million stories about the famous and not so famous, a man about town who can be found at most literary events in the area such as the Writers Institute programs. While he has never lost his Brooklyn accent and manner, he is a true Albany character. I love him dearly."

The Joe Krausman reading

Joe Krausman will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 18, at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany. A poetry open mic will follow.

The host of the readings will be Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $5.00, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center. For more information about this event contact Dan at 518-482-0262; e-mail:

Joe Krausman's poem


by Joe Krausman

I stare at the monkey

through the steel bars.

I put my fingers in my ears

and twist my mouth.

The monkey turns away.

I stand on my head,

the monkey scratches his behind,

as if to ask,

whose zoo is this anyhow?

Haven't you read Darwin, Mr. Monk?

We are family.

Love me monkey, brother, kinsman.

I fling him a banana.

He doesn't even say thank you.

(from Monkeyshines, Benevolent Bird Press, 2015)

A poem titled "Joe Krausman" by his friend Dan Wilcox.

Joe Krausman

by Dan Wilcox

Joe Krausman stood on a street corner this morning reading the New York Times. “So, what’s going on?” he asked. “You’re the one reading the paper,” I said. He fantasized a chain of bagel shops in Beijing when the riots stop. I said I didn’t mind staying here in a future third-rate country. “I have no ambitions,” I said “I just want to live my life until they turn out the lights.” Joe said it sounded like a poem. I said it is.


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