Would you like to own the edited manuscript of “What Teachers Make”?

Posted On May 25th, 2015

On September 7th, I am giving away the original master markup copy of “What Teachers Make,” and I will include a handwritten letter of authenticity. The money raised will allow young writers of color to attend “Your Word,” a teen writing residency held each summer at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Last year a special campaign provided scholarships for three inner-city teens from Cleveland and Milwaukee. But my goal of $10,000 will allow Your Word to give out five full scholarships to talented teen writers of color (African American and Hispanic). Help me make that happen.

One $10 raffle ticket (which you can purchase here if the widget below does not work) gives you one chance to win the manuscript, but I’m also giving away five first edition hardback copies of “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World” and ten letterpress broadsides of “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog.”

Wednesday, June 17th: Page Meets Stage with Beau Sia and Watsky!

Posted On May 20th, 2015

LOCATION: The DL Lounge 95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow St.) F/M to Delancey/Essex St. or 6 to Spring St.

The series, often called “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam,” is like no other poetry reading series anywhere. Each month, for 10 years, two different poets, one who writes primarily for the page and another who is more performance oriented, take the stage together and read back and forth, poem for poem. It is not a slam or competition in any way. Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series, or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule. Tickets are $12 (but ½ price if purchased online in advance). Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

Buy half-price advance tickets here!

Wednesday, May 20: Page Meets Stage with Sapphire and Franny Choi!

Posted On April 25th, 2015

LOCATION: The DL Lounge 95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow St.) F/M to Delancey/Essex St. or 6 to Spring St.

The series, often called “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam,” is like no other poetry reading series anywhere. Each month, for 10 years, two different poets, one who writes primarily for the page and another who is more performance oriented, take the stage together and read back and forth, poem for poem. It is not a slam or competition in any way. Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series, or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule. Tickets are $12 (but ½ price if purchased online in advance). Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

Buy half-price advance tickets here!

Saturday, April 25, I’ll be performing on the High Line at 6:30 pm!

Posted On April 15th, 2015
LOCATION: On the High Line at West 26th Street

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a stroll on the High Line at sunset and encounter a series of poetry performances along the park; ten blocks of traditional readings, spoken word, and ASL Poetry. Presented in collaboration with the Academy of American Poets.

RSVP

Get started with poetry readings by Sarah Gambito, Saeed Jones, Taylor Mali, David Tomas Martinez and Leigh Stein.

Enjoy a performance by top New York artists whose primary language is American Sign Language: Maleni Chaitoo, John McGinty, Lewis Merkin, Lynnette Taylor, Alexandria Wailes and Jon Wolfe-Nelson, based on poems by Darren Fudenske, Douglas Ridloff, David Rivera and Anne Tomasetti. Created by Other Voices.

Witness the creative process unfold as Wendy Chen, Mariama J. Lockington and Camille Rankine reveal writing improvisations projected on large screens.

And get inspired by the powerful spoken word performances of some of the Nuyorican all stars: Lemon Andersen, Nancy Mercado, Maria Rodriguez-Morales, Edwin Torres and Emanuel Xavier.

Join us after for a closing party with National Book award winner Mark Doty, music and (yes!) a cash bar.

Wednesday, April 15th, 8 pm: Page Meets Stage with Jill Alexander Essbaum and Sean Patrick Mulroy

Posted On April 9th, 2015

The RED ROOM at the DL Lounge
95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow)

Page Meets Stage was born in 2005 when Billy Collins and Taylor Mali read together on the same stage in an event called “Page vs. Stage: The Final Smackdown!” Now it is a monthly series curated by Taylor which brings together two poets—one ostensibly repping the “page,” the other ostensibly repping a more performative style—to read/perform back and forth, poem for poem, continuing the conversation of where poetry exists. Some of the most prominent poets in the United States both in the “academy” and in spoken word circles (Gerald Stern, Mark Doty, Carol Muske-Dukes, Valzhyna Mort, Paul Muldoon, Thomas Lux, Roger Bonair-Agard, Patricia Smith, Rives, Lynne Procope, to name just a few) have been involved.

Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series (search for “Page Meets Stage”), or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule.
Tickets are $12 at the door on the night of the show but are available in advance (for a discount) at www.PageMeetsStage.com. Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

THIRD Wednesday of this month: Sarah Kay meets Zack Rogow!

Posted On March 25th, 2014

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Page Meets Stage is a reading series I run which brings together two poets—one ostensibly repping the “page,” the other ostensibly repping a more performative style—to read/perform back and forth, poem for poem, continuing the conversation of where poetry exists. Some of the most prominent poets in the United States both in the “academy” and in spoken word circles (Gerald Stern, Mark Doty, Carol Muske-Dukes, Valzhyna Mort, Paul Muldoon, Thomas Lux, Roger Bonair-Agard, Patricia Smith, Rives, Lynne Procope, to name just a few) have been involved.

Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series (search for “Page Meets Stage”), or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule.
Tickets are $12 ($6 students) and are sometimes available in advance online.

All shows take place at The DL Lounge on the Lower East Side (95 Delancey Street at the SW corner of Ludlow).

Piedmont, CA—An Evening with Taylor Mali: In Praise of Teachers

Posted On February 19th, 2014

On Tuesday, February 25, from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm in the Alan Harvey Theater at Piedmont High School, the Education Speaker Series will host New York City performance poet and former teacher Taylor Mali, author of What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World and a four-time National Poetry Slam champion. He is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” His one-man show Teacher! Teacher! won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Mali is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, and has performed and lectured all over the world. You may purchase an advance ticket for $10 plus a $2 online processing fee here: http://tinyurl.com/http-taylormali-com

Tickets may be available at the door depending on availability. If you miss this reading, Taylor Mali will be the featured poet the following evening at the Berkeley Poetry Slam.

 

 

Meet me in New York City on Wednesday, 2/19/2014, at 8 pm

Posted On January 27th, 2014

I’m looking forward to the first pairing of the year for Page Meets Stage on the third Wednesday of February. The poets taking part are Tracy K. Smith and Thuli Zuma so this month we really ARE “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the Poetry Slam!”

I’m leaving for Germany today (Monday, January 27, 2014), and I return only a few days before the show so I’m turning over the hosting duties to Associate Curator John Paul Davis. Nevertheless, come join me for this electric pairing!

I’m reading at the Austin Poetry Slam on 21 January 2014!

Posted On December 19th, 2013

Every year I go to Austin, TX, for MLK weekend. Which is to say, I went last year, and I have every intention of going this year. And the United States is a young country, so that practically makes it a tradition. And I love reading at the Austin Poetry Slam, because it’s one of the big time slams in the country, a National Poetry Slam championship venue with a large, active, weekly slam. There are slam venues all over the country, but there are only a handful at any one time that have become big time. Berkeley (where I’ll be on 2/26/2014), Boston, Seattle, the Nuyorican in New York City, Chicago, and Austin. Back when we were at the Bowery Poetry Club, I used to count my own slam, Urbana. But since the club’s metamorphosis into a high-end burlesque venue that sometimes does poetry on the side (and Urbana’s relocation to The Sidewalk Cafe), our audience has been struggling to find us.

But Austin. Great scene. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
8 pm
Venue name: The 29th Street Ballroom
Venue address: 2906 Fruth Street, Austin, TX 78702
Estimated audience: 100-120
Cost of Admission?: $5.00

I used to get my shoes shined every Tuesday at 1:05 pm

Posted On November 15th, 2013

That’s not a metaphor.

The last school where I taught regularly was on the East Side of Manhattan, and after the first year there, my best friend (and school wife) Nell left to go teach at a different school. Nell was replaced by a guy named Tim who was even more of a WASP than I am. In fact, Rebecca (my real wife at the time) said Tim was what I MIGHT have become had I not met her in time. Tim owned several seersucker suits and was on a first-name basis with most of the sommeliers in the neighborhood.

Nell and I used to have sushi dinners once a month or so when we found ourselves at school late on the same afternoons, but Tim and I developed a different tradition. There was a cobbler’s shop just down the street from the school, and one day I said I was going to go sit for a shine. It was after lunch on a Tuesday when we both had free periods—such a luxury: a free period immediately after lunch!—and Tim said he would go with me. The place had two seats so it was perfect. Back then a shine cost $2 at this place or maybe $3. All I remember was that I could leave $5 and feel as though I’d gotten a good deal and left a decent tip. Tim did the same.

For the next three years, we got our shoes shined every Tuesday after lunch and talked the whole time about our students, our careers, our wives, and our lives. Eventually, I started choosing my outfit for Tuesdays starting with the pair of shoes that was most in need of a shine. Sometimes on a weekend, digging around in my closet, I’d discover a pair of shoes I hadn’t worn in a while and I’d set them aside to wear the following Tuesday. I didn’t have an excessive collection of work shoes—maybe seven or eight pair—so after a couple months all of them were looking decent. Then I started attending to the heels and the soles, bringing a different extra pair with me (sometimes a pair from Rebecca, too) to be left and repaired during the week.

My shoe collection never looked so good as when I was teaching. Now I only get my shoes shined in airports when I have the time to spare. It’s usually twice as expensive, and they only do half as good a job. But what I really miss is the routine and the conversation, the weekly chance to catch up with a friend. And the periodic but comprehensive management of a collection. The husbandry, if you will.

And Rebecca, of course. I miss Rebecca, too. She would have turned 50 next week.