Downtown Express file photo by Elisabeth Robert
The children’s room in the Poets House when it opened in September. The room’s programming and hours are expanding starting this Saturday.
Poets House expands its children’s programming
Poets House is expanding its programming for children, starting with a celebration at the Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room this Sat., Apr. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and will feature U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman and teacher Linda Winston sharing poetry from their anthology, “The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination.”
The environmentally-focused event is part of Ecopoetic Futures, a series of programming about poetry and the environment. It also coincides with NY’s Greenest, a weeklong celebration of Earth Day taking place at various institutions throughout Battery Park City.
The Poets House will also debut its first interactive poetry project Saturday. Mike Romanos, the children’s room coordinator, said two old-style card catalogues will serve as “big poetry cabinets.” Each drawer will have different objects inside, as well as blank catalogue cards on which kids can write their own poems about the discoveries.
“We had two great old wooden card catalogues, each one with about 60 drawers. They are really unique,” Romanos said. The drawers were no longer needed, but rather than throw them away or put them in storage, he thought, “Why not turn something obsolete into something new and exciting?”
The card catalogues are part of a motif in the children’s room that includes antique typewriters and brightly painted old-fashioned school desks. At the official opening this weekend, volunteer poets will also be stationed at the typewriters to help children create poems and type them on old-fashioned postcards that they can take home.
Poets House moved to 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City last September after 17 years in Soho. The children’s room had been open only on Saturdays. After this weekend’s festivities it will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 12 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A free program for toddlers called Tiny Poets Time will also be offered on Thursdays at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.poetshouse.org.
— Kristin Shiller