(New York, N.Y.)– In partnership with Ars Poetica and PEN America, the NYC Literary Action Coalition will host a city-wide literary celebration of Earth Day on Friday, April 22, from 4pm to 7pm. At six neighborhood independent bookstores across the five boroughs, published poets will compose works in response to ideas and inspiration from community participants centered on climate, the environment and the natural world.

Participating poets and bookstores will include Nasimeh B.E.,  Everything Goes Bookshop (Staten Island); Ramya Ramana, Quimby’s Bookstore (Brooklyn); Nunyala Sogbo, Astoria Bookshop (Queens); Zoe Branch, Yu and Me Books (Downtown Manhattan); E.R. Pulgar, Word Up Bookstore (Uptown Manhattan), and Anthony McPherson, @bronxboundbooks- Montefiore Hospital (The Bronx).  More info and poets bios 

Alejandro Heredia, community outreach manager at PEN America, the literary and free expression organization, said: “New York is grounded in a legacy of writers, poets and other creative communities and so it’s a natural fit for PEN America to bring together poets to connect both the inspiration we draw from the natural world and our worries about a sustainable future on Earth Day.”

“Despite efforts to make New York City a sustainable home for all, issues like environmental racism continue to impact those that are most marginalized in our city. From lack of green spaces, food deserts, and negligible access to quality air and water, we are a long way from tackling head on the issues that New Yorkers face in the face of climate change,” Heredia said.

He said the goal is to celebrate Earth Day and to educate New Yorkers about climate change issues affecting marginalized communities in New York.

At the events, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to chat with poets about their biggest inspirations from the natural world, their fears about the climate crisis, and their dreams for a more environmentally conscious New York City. Each person will receive a free personalized poem as a symbol of their investment in creating a more sustainable and just New York City. 

Who: Published poets will create poems in response to community members at five bookstores in every NYC borough

What: Community members are invited to meet with the poets and share their concerns about climate change and inspiration about the environment. 

Where: list the bookstores

When: Friday, April 22 4-7pm

Google map of locations: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/BYB6_9ixQ1y-RZXAQlPTbQ

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contacts: Suzanne Trimel, STrimel@PEN,org and Alejandro Heredia, AHeredia@PEN.org