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  • NYS Writers Institute

#PoetryFriday: Join us for Saturday's "Poets in the Park" in Albany

Poets in the Park is celebrating more than 30 years of poetry readings in Albany's Washington Park. This year's event will take place 7 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park. (See photo below.)

In case of rain the reading will be held on Sunday, July 26, same place, same time. The event is free and open to the public; donations are accepted.

COVID-19 will make for a different Poets in the Park event this year. Instead of several poets, there will be readings by two poets: Sarah Giragosian and Austin Houston.

Sarah Giragosian is the author of the poetry collection Queer Fish, a winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize (Dream Horse Press, 2017) and The Death Spiral (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). A lecturer at the University at Albany-SUNY, she also is the co-editor (with Virginia Konchan) of the craft anthology, Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems, which is forthcoming from The University of Akron Press. We published a Q&A with Sarah back in April. Here's a link.

Austin Houston, has read at a number of community open mics. He says that he is “a poet who loves to put feelings to paper. A friend to all who will accept it.”

The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. Check out the video interview with Dan from a couple weeks ago. Poets in the Park is sponsored and funded by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the Poetry Motel Foundation.

The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Blvd. passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Avenue.

Earlier on Saturday, the Friends and Foundation of Albany Public Library will present a reading with their 2020 Literary Legend Elisa Albert reading from her O #Smalbany cycle of essays in Washington Park on from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This event take place by the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, near the Henry Johnson Blvd entrance to the Park.

For both events, please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on, and please wear masks and maintain social distancing.


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