Tag Archives: poetry

Brooklyn Poets Book Launch: Rachel Edelman with Lynne Sachs and Diane Exavier


Saturday, February 17, 2024
7:00 PM  9:00 PM
Brooklyn Poets, 144 Montague StreetBrooklyn, NY, 11201

Join us for the launch of poet Rachel Edelman’s new collection of poems, Dear Memphis, on Saturday, February 17, at 144 Montague St and via Zoom! Doors will open for a wine reception for in-person guests at 6 PM and readings will begin at 7 PM. Lynne Sachs and Diane Exavier will open for Edelman. Book signing to follow.

Note that by attending this event, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. Effective January 8, 2024, all event attendees except readers at a safe distance on stage are required to wear masks due to the current rise in cases in NYC. Our full policy can be found at the end of the event description. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of these policies. Thank you for respecting our community.

About Dear Memphis

“What do I know of exile?” asks the speaker in Dear Memphis, standing inside the colliding geographies and intimate economies of the American South. Offering a direct address to the city where the poet grew up, this collection explores the displacement and belonging of a Jewish family in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside their histories of community and environment. The simultaneous richness and spareness of Edelman’s poems sing with their attention to the particular body and what it cannot carry, what it cannot put down. Through letters, visual art, city documents, and dialogue, Dear Memphis excavates ancestry, inheritance and the ecological possibility of imagining a future.

About the Author

Rachel Edelman is a Jewish poet raised in Memphis, Tennessee, who writes into diasporic living. Dear Memphis, published by River River Books, is their debut collection of poems. Her poems have appeared in Narrative, the Seventh Wave, the Threepenny Review, West Branch and many other journals. They have received material support from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Academy of American Poets, Mineral School, Crosstown Arts, and Tin House, and finalist commendations from the Adrienne Rich Award, the Pink Poetry Prize, and the National Poetry Series. Edelman earned a BA in English and geology from Amherst College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She teaches language arts in the Seattle Public Schools, where embodiment and care root her personal, poetic and pedagogical practice. 

About the Opening Acts

Lynne Sachs is a filmmaker and poet who grew up in Memphis and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Over the last four decades, she has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of documentary, performance, and collage. Her films and poems explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences, often from a personal, self-reflexive point of view. With each film, Sachs investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera and the materiality of film itself. Her early works on celluloid offer a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her vision ever since. Early in her career, Lynne returned to her hometown to make Sermons and Sacred Pictures (1989), a documentary on the life and work of Reverend L.O. Taylor, an African American minister and filmmaker from Memphis. Lynne’s films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Film Festival, and Sundance. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival, Festival International de Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival.

Diane Exavier is a writer, theatermaker and educator working at the intersection of performance and poetry. She is author of the poetry collection The Math of Saint Felix and the chapbook Teaches of Peaches. Diane concerns herself with what she recognizes as the 4 L’s: love, loss, legacy and land. Her work has been presented with the New Group, BRIC Arts, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place and more. She has been commissioned for new play development by the Sloan Foundation, the New Group, and Lucille Lortel Theatre. Most recently, Diane coedited the 2023 new critical edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane. A 2021 Jerome Foundation finalist, Diane lives and works in Brooklyn.

Poets of Queens Reading Series at Q.E.D. Astoria / Poets of Queens

Poets of Queens Reading Series at Q.E.D. Astoria
Poets of Queens
July 5, 2022
Reading on October 16, 2022

Cynthia Andrews was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in both Brooklyn and Queens. She is a former actress, dancer and singer, as well as a notable performance poet and veteran of the NYC poetry circuit. Her performance at The Nuyorican Poets Café was one of the first to be archived at Poet’s House. She has been published in various publications including ALOUD: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets CaféThe Voice Literary SupplementThe 2020 Beat Poets Anthology, and Tribes Literary Journal, where she has also written film and book reviews. She is the author of two chapbooks: Saving Summer and Homeless (The New Press), and one poetry collection: A Little Before Twelve (Poets of Queens). She holds a Certificate of Language and Culture from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, as well as a B.A. from Adelphi University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.  

Pauline Findlay is a poet, filmmaker of shorts (poetry in motion) and chef. Her new book Dysfunction: A Play On Words In the Familiar, released by Pink Trees Press is one that will walk you down a winding road to leave you to choose; the road of redemption or a dysfunctional circus. One of the original Silver Tongued Devils her work appears in their anthology as well as Brownstone Poets. She’s performed at Fahrenheit, Women of Color and Tree of Cups the Rimes Series. Findlay has judged poetry contests and collection of videos can be viewed on YouTube. Her method towards writing is simple, “I don’t write in things I don’t believe in.”

tova greene (they/them) is a non-binary, queer, jewish poet who recently graduated with a bachelor in liberal arts from sarah lawrence college in yonkers, new york. they were one of seven members of the class of 2022 to submit a senior thesis; at a whopping 375 pages, “the poetic is political” specialized in the intersection between twentieth century american poetry & feminist theory. as a part of this year-long endeavor, they created a chronological anthology of the american feminist poetry movement from 1963-1989 entitled who can tolerate the power of a woman (after “propaganda poem: maybe for some young mamas” by alicia ostriker). their debut collection lilac on the damned’s breath was published via bottlecap press in june of 2022. they are currently working on their second book of poetry, ohso. they are a two-time gryphon grant recipient & received the dean’s scholarship throughout their undergraduate education. after interning with the poetry society of new york from march to august of 2021, they were invited back as the program coordinator in may 2022. in this capacity, they are currently producing the new york city poetry festival. their work has been featured in eunoia reviewmidway journallove & squalorclickbaitsoul talk magazine, & primavera zine. they currently live in manhattan with their partner & cat.

Emily Hockaday’s first full length book, Naming the Ghost, is out from Cornerstone Press September 2022. She is the author of five chapbooks, most recently the ecology-themed Beach Vocabulary from Red Bird Chaps. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals in print and online, and she can be found on the web at www.emilyhockaday.com. She tweets @E_Hockaday.

Ananda Lima is the author of Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press, 2021), winner of the Hudson Prize, and four chapbooks: Vigil (Get Fresh Books), Tropicália (Newfound, winner of the Newfound Prose Prize), Amblyopia (Bull City Press), and Translation (Paper Nautilus). Her work has appeared in The American Poetry ReviewPoets.orgKenyon Review OnlineGulf CoastColorado ReviewPoet LorePoetry NorthwestPleiadesThe Hopkins Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded the inaugural Work-In-Progress Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing, sponsored by Macmillan Publishers, for her fiction manuscript-in-progress. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark. 

Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published her first book Year by Year Poems.

Please watch the January 17th PoQ reading here.
Please watch the March 14th PoQ reading here.
Please watch the May 16 PoQ reading here.


Poets of Queens creates a community for poetry in Queens and beyond. 

Readings create a connection between a diverse group of poets and an audience. In 2020 an anthology of poetry by a group of twenty-five poets was published. This paved the way for Poets of Queens to start to publish individual collections to help poets connect to their community through their work. Connections are furthered when visual artists respond to poets and poets respond to visual artists as part of special projects. Poets also become mentors and teachers to fellow poets in all stages of their careers, strengthening community.

To Maya on the Occasion of her 18th Birthday

On the day you were born, I felt an explosion of possibility
The world beckoned you with glitter, blades of grass,
A tickling breeze blowing off the Gulf of Mexico.
You grabbed at the air on a February afternoon in Tampa,
Your daddy, your grandmom and I there to catch you,
Full of applause and awe.
I have had eighteen years with you in my midst,
Watching you explore a piece of lint under the couch as you crawled
In search of a beloved toy, hustling breathlessly to a violin lesson
In the frigid early evening darkness of a Brooklyn winter.
Anticipating the caress of a wave at a Puerto Rican beach,
You watch a flurry of porpoises swim gingerly by and immediately wonder
How their lives will be changed by the warming waters.
I love the observer in you, the person who notices all.
Once you heard about a trip at a high school where they
Required each participant to bring a digital camera, and you wondered
What someone who had no access to such a thing might do or feel.
There began my realization that your acute power for hearing not only the blacks and whites but also the full range of grays in-between would take you to
A place of conviction, anger and action.
Some of us can only see the skin of people we pass by on the street,
You allow yourself to witness the skeleton below, sturdy or broken.
I know this can become a heavy weight to bare, the burden of emotions, of empathy.
But you’ve been collecting these sensations since the very start.
Each and every one of them tumbles into the mix, making you the complex, poetic, visionary human being
Being being being
I so know and love.


Reflections on a Crackerjack World

 A birthday party snapshot I found in an antique shop.

A birthday party snapshot I found in an antique shop.

Reflections on a Crackerjack World

In the crackerjack world of default birthday parties

A five-year-old boy plays pyrotechnical

With the soft air of his little lung.

Flames dance like zoftig gogo girls

On the parapet

Of a cake purchased yesterday

At the industrial bakery in the A&P.

Our children

Perform split-second happiness for the camera

As we watch their wide eyes and their hunger tongues

Hold forth

On clandestine birthday wishes

We vow will only come true


Lynne Sachs
February, 2012

Also found at the Saint Lucy Photo and Essay website:


On awaiting our child, a poem


To Mark: On awaiting our child

On a summer day,

Warmth on my skin,

Droplets of wetness dancing across my brow,

I walk from the vertebrae to the outer limbs

From Broadway to the Hudson.

Reeling from a shift in my body that neither of us can yet name.

In the crevices of a tomorrow mystery

Delight in the glow of the dark,

Feeling our way

The hold-on-for-dear-life-ness.

How do we explain the sensation of a shared thirst on a rainy day?

A twin hunger for joyous fear that lands on lips.

We spin around and around

Dizzily landing, hands grasping,

You as my anchor, my compass, my wings, together

We wait.


March 30, 2011

To Build a House

To build a house on a mountain,
I find a place in my room where a cloud meets my eye.
Capture the wind with my lips.
Take notice of a bird writing eloquent script
across the sky.

Flickering in the morning yellow,
Aspen leaves turning somersaults,
Dark, light, dark, light.
A moon and its negative
Multiplied by a thousand.

A cosmos of arboreal splendor.

Spring green beckoning me –
Shyly into the somber quiet of the wood.

Where do I put a memory of silence?
I carve a groove just deep enough,
And delicately place the wedge of delicious
Extravagant emptiness
Inside the fissures.

Protected and preserved I forget the silence is there
Until it has mischievously flown away,
Like the birds I saw that morning –
Writing their indecipherable messages across the paper
I sadly allowed to float away.

Lynne Sachs