A Decade of Poets Hang Out in Bowery

Among the ten CUNY poets who helped ring in National Poetry Month on April 1 was Elena Georgiou. The Hunter College poet, who coordinates the College’s MFA program in creative writing, is the author of Mercy Mercy Me, an award-winning collection recently reissued by University of Wisconsin Press.

Elena Georgiou
The event, which took place at the Bowery Poetry Club, was part of a year-long focus on poetry under the aegis of Executive Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer’s “CUNY is Reading...” initiative.

The other participants were former Brooklyn College poet and Distinguished Professor John Ashbery (now at Bard College), Grace Shulman (Baruch), Julie Agoos (Brooklyn), Louis Asekoff (Brooklyn), Isaac Goldemberg (Hostos), Kimiko Hahn (Queens), Donna Masini (Hunter), Terry Smith (Medgar Evers), and Barry Wallenstein (City College).

Ten days later, on April 11, “CUNY is Reading...” had the entire city, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many students and teachers in the public schools, participating in “Put a Poem in Your Pocket” day. At a special luncheon at the Central Office, Chancellor Goldstein unpocketed Walt Whitman’s “Mannahatta,” an ode to his favorite city, to kick off the reading of several dozen cherished poems.

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