1. A special project for 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center’s 75th anniversary, 75 at 75 invites authors to listen to a recording from our archive and write a personal response. Here, Helen Vendler writes about a recording of Wallace Stevens reading from his work. It was recorded at 92Y on November 6, 1954. “To think a voice gone forever—and then to find some living traces of it still!” Vendler has written. “I feel for Stevens a relation of kinship I have felt with only two other people—and an almost familial warmth filled my soul as I heard him speak again.”

    Vendler, our most renowned poetry critic, returns to 92Y on Wednesday, November 20, for her annual lecture. This year’s topic is Wordsworth.

    A champion of contemporary poets, too, Vendler has long praised Jorie Graham, whose 92Y reading last month is now available on our Poetry Center Online: “Graham risks everything, and perhaps cannot always keep the several parts from flying apart—but the wildness of the risk is itself exhilarating to encounter,” Vendler has written. “No good poet can stand still, and to read under Graham’s powerful impetus is to have one’s consciousness, like molten glass, pulled into unforeseen—and sometimes almost unbearable—shapes.”

  2. Today we’re sharing never-before-released audio of a panel discussion recorded at 92nd Street Y in 1972, featuring Nora Ephron, novelist Elizabeth Janeway and poet Carolyn Kizer, with literary critic Helen Vendler as moderator. The discussion was titled: “Women Writers: Has Anything Changed?” 

    "…still not nearly enough," remarked Katie J.M. Baker, reporting on the recording for Jezebel. 

    Ms. Ephron began the panel discussion by talking about some “sloppy statistics” she did on 50 book reviews in The New York Times between 1971 and 1972.

    "There was 697 major reviews," she noted. "And of that, 101 of those reviewed books by women. So that’s 14.5 percent."

    Explaining the same examination undertaken with the 1956 Book Review, she continued, “I went through 26 issues of it. Of 725 books that were reviewed, 107 were by women, which is 14.4 percent. So has anything changed? 0.1 percent, I don’t know.” 

    We will miss Nora Ephron, friend and favorite of the 92Y community. She spoke here 15 times, often on women’s issues. Videos from some of those appearances can be seen on our YouTube channel

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y has presented across the decades, we’ve begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings from the Poetry Center archive, please click here.