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Brooklyn Poets Poetry Contest

Brooklyn Poets is hosting their first Yawp of the new year on Monday, January 14, at 61 Local. Founder & Executive Director Jason Koo will lead a workshop on Whitman's seminal poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" to kick off our Whitman Bicentennial Poetry Contest. Participants will read the poem together and respond to the question at the heart of the poem—"What is it, then, between us?”—considering how it has taken on new resonance today.

Poets can submit poems written in response to the prompt to our contest, which will open on January 15 in three different age brackets: 13–17, 18–22, and 23+. Mark Doty, Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang will serve as the judges, each selecting three winners from one of the age brackets. The winners and judges will read at our bicentennial celebration of Whitman on his birthday, May 31, 2019, at Smack Mellon in DUMBO.

Workshop starts at 7; open mic at 8. $10 for the workshop & open mic / $5 for the open mic. Members get in free. A Voyager membership at $60 gives you free admission to the Yawp workshop & open mic at 50% off the annual price of admission ($120), plus $25 off our five-week workshops at any time.

During the open mic, each poet reads one poem of 3 minutes max. You can sign up in advance on our website for one of fifteen reserved spots. If those spots fill, sign up in person at the start of the Yawp workshop for one of five open spots or for the wait list. We usually get to 3–5 poets on the wait list every month.

61 Local is a true public house where the community comes to eat, drink, celebrate and collaborate. It's located at 61 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (off Smith St), right down the street from the Bergen F/G stop and a few blocks from the Borough Hall 4/5 stop, the Hoyt 2/3 stop and the Hoyt - Schermerhorn A/C/G stop.

For more information and to request accommodations (including ASL interpretation, assistive listening devices and the text of the poems read), contact Jason Koo at

Later Event: February 1
Troubled Americans