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. From the Poetry Center Archive: Wallace Stevens

    Tonight, 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center presents poet Mary Oliver, who will be reading from her new book, A Thousand Mornings. The event is nearly sold out, but we have just released a last batch of premium seats.

    In anticipation of this evening’s rare appearance by Ms. Oliver, we’d like to share a rare recording from another of America’s most cherished poets—Wallace Stevens. It comes from Stevens’ first appearance at the Poetry Center in 1951 and features him reading two of his longer poems, “Credences of Summer” and “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven.”

    Now in midsummer come and all fools slaughtered
    And spring’s infuriations over and a long way
    To the first autumnal inhalations, young broods
    Are in the grass, the roses are heavy with a weight
    Of fragrance and the mind lays by its trouble.

    Now the mind lays by its trouble and considers.
    The fidgets of remembrance come to this.
    This is the last day of a certain year
    Beyond which there is nothing left of time.
    It comes to this and the imagination’s life.

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, we have begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. To purchase tickets to tonight’s reading by Mary Oliver, please click here. To look at the rest of the season’s line-up, please click here. And for access to other recordings on our Virtual Poetry Center, please click here.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.