The Lewis Center for the Arts presents the Princeton Poetry Festival, a two-day biennial event organized by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton professor Paul Muldoon.


For a detailed schedule of events, please see below. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required.



12:00 p.m.  |   GALA OPENING READING
Introduction by Paul Muldoon

  • Indran Amirthanayagam (Sri Lanka)
  • Ellen Bass (US)
  • Gabrielle Bates (US)
  • Lidija Dimkovska (Macedonia)
  • Cornelius Eady (US)
  • Kimiko Hahn (US)
  • Ishion Hutchinson (Jamaica)
  • Vasyl Makhno (Ukraine)
  • Dora Malech (US)
  • Harryette Mullen (US)
  • Tommy Pico (Kumeyaay Nation)
  • Ben Purkert (US)

1:15 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

1:30 p.m.  |  PANEL: Poetry and Pressure (1)
Moderated by Paul Muldoon

  • Ellen Bass
  • Gabrielle Bates
  • Lidija Dimkovska
  • Vasyl Makhno
  • Dora Malech
  • Harryette Mullen

2:45 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

3:00 p.m.  |  READING
Introduced by Monica Youn

  • Indran Amirthanayagam
  • Kimiko Hahn
  • Ishion Hutchinson
  • Tommy Pico

4:15 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

4:30 p.m.  |  Words for Music

  • The Cornelius Eady Trio (Cornelius Eady, Lisa Liu, Charlie Rauh)


12:30 p.m.  |  LECTURE
Introduced by James Richardson

  • Tommy Pico — “Natives to the Front: Contemporary Native American Poetry”

1:45 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

2:00 p.m.  |  READING
Introduced by Michael Dickman

  • Gabrielle Bates
  • Cornelius Eady
  • Dora Malech
  • Ben Purkert

3:15 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

3:30 p.m.  |  PANEL: Poetry and Pressure (2)
Moderated by Paul Muldoon

  • Indran Amirthanayagam
  • Cornelius Eady
  • Kimiko Hahn
  • Ishion Hutchinson
  • Tommy Pico
  • Ben Purkert

4:45 p.m.  |  INTERMISSION

5:00 p.m.  |  READING
Introduced by Tracy K. Smith

  • Ellen Bass
  • Lidija Dimkovska
  • Vasyl Makhno
  • Harryette Mullen


*Details subject to change


Photo courtesy Indran Amirthanayagam

INDRAN AMIRTHANAYAGAM is an American poet and diplomat. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published sixteen poetry collections thus far, including the just released Coconuts on Mars (, En busca de posada (Editorial Apogeo, Lima, 2019) and Paolo 9 (Manofalsa, Lima, 2019). The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 1993) won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States. Uncivil War (Tsar/Mawenzi House, Toronto, 2013) tells the history of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 2008) was written in the wake of the Asian Tsunami of 2004. Other books include Il n’est de solitude que l’île lointaine (Legs Editions, Haiti, 2017), and Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City, 2016). In music, he has released Rankont Dout (available to download from all the music stores). He has written on poetry for the blog: He directs Poetry at the Port, a monthly spoken word series at Port Au Prince restaurant in Silver Spring. He is on the Board of Directors of DC-ALT, an association of literary translators. He writes a weekly column featuring poems for the newspaper Haiti en Marche. Amirthanayagam is a past recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The US/Mexico Fund for Culture and the Macdowell Colony.



Photo by Irene Young

ELLEN BASS’s most recent books are Like a Beggar and The Human Line, both from Copper Canyon Press. She co-edited, with Florence Howe, the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks! (Doubleday, 1973). Her poetry appears frequently in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review. Among her awards are Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, three Pushcart Prizes, and The Lambda Literary Award. She is also the co-author of several non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University.





Photo courtesy Gabrielle Bates

GABRIELLE BATES works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium, cohosts “The Poet Salon” podcast, and helps edit Poetry Northwest, Broadsided Press, and Bull City Press. The recipient of support from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and Artist Trust, her poems and poetry comics have appeared in the The New Yorker, Poetry, New England Review, and jubilat, among other journals. Works-in-progress include a book of poetry comics, a poetry collection, and a novel. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama.






Photo courtesy Lidija Dimkovska

LIDIJA DIMKOVSKA (b.1971, Skopje, North Macedonia, living in Ljubljana, Slovenia) has published six poetry books, three novels, one American diary and one short stories’ book translated in numerous languages. She received the Macedonian awards for poetry debut and twice for best prose book, the German Hubert Burda, the Romanian Poesisand Tudor Arghezi, the European Petru Krduand the European Union Prize for Literature. In the States in 2003 the American Poetry Review dedicated to her the cover page and the Special Supplement and in 2005 she attended the IWP in Iowa.  Translated books in English include Do Not Awaken Them with Hammers (poetry), Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006;  pH Neutral History (poetry, short-listed for the BTBA 2013), Copper Canyon Press, 2012; and A Spare Life (novel, long-listed for the BTBA 2017), Two Lines Press, 2016. Recently her translator, Christina E. Kramer, received an NEA translation fellowship for her novel, Grandma Non-Oui.





cornelius eady by street sign

Photo courtesy Cornelius Eady

Poet/Playwright/Songwriter CORNELIUS EADY was born in Rochester, New York, in 1954, and he is the author of several poetry collections including Victims of theLatest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize; and Brutal Imagination. He is co-founder of the Cave Canem Foundation and is Professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton.





Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

KIMIKO HAHN, author of nine books, finds that disparate sources have given way to her work — whether black lung disease in Volatile, Flaubert’s sex-tour in The Unbearable Heart, exhumation in The Artist’s Daughter, or classical Japanese forms in The Narrow Road to the Interior. Rarified fields of science prompted her latest collections Toxic Flora and Brain Fever. A passionate advocate of chapbooks, her own most recent is Brood. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, and the Shelley Memorial Prize. Hahn is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York, and the President of the Board for The Poetry Society of America.





ishion hutchinson

Photo by Neil Watson

ISHION HUTCHINSON was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of two poetry collections: Far District and House of Lords and Commons. He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among others. He is a contributing editor to the literary journals The Common and Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art and teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University.






Photo courtesy Vasyl Makhno

VASYL MAKHNO was born in Chortkiv, Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine, in 1964. He is a poet, prose writer, essayist, and translator. He is the author of twelve collections of poetry. His most recent collection, Poet, Ocean and Fish, appeared in 2019. He has also published two book of essays: The Gertrude Stein Memorial Cultural and Recreation Park (2006) and Horn of Plenty (2011), and two plays: Coney Island (2006) and Bitch/Beach Generation (2007). Makhno translated Zbigniew Herbert’s and Janusz Szuber’s poetry from Polish into Ukrainian and edited an anthology of young Ukrainian poets from the 1990s. His poems, short stories and essays have been translated into twenty-five languages. His poems and essays appeared in English in Absinthe, Agni, Consequences, Post Road, Poetry International, Solstice Literary Magazine and others. Two poetry collections, Thread and Other New York Poems (2009) and Winter Letters (2011), were published in English translation. He is the 2013 recipient of International Serbia’s Povele Morave Prize in Poetry and BBC Book of the Year Award 2015. Makhno lives in New York City.




Photo by Chattman Photography

DORA MALECH is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. She is the author of Shore Ordered Ocean (2009), Say So (2011), and Stet, selected by Susan Stewart for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and published by Princeton University Press in 2018. A fourth book, Flourish, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The New YorkerPoetryPoetry London, and The Best American Poetry. Her visual art has recently appeared in Poetry and Poetry Northwest. She is the recipient of awards that include an Amy Clampitt Residency Award, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, and a Writers’ Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She collaborates with composer Jacob Cooper as a lyricist and librettist. An advocate for arts engagement, she worked to establish and formerly directed the Iowa Youth Writing Project, and she currently works with Writers in Baltimore Schools. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.



Photo by Judy Natal

HARRYETTE MULLEN teaches courses in American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing at UCLA. Her poems, short stories, and essays are published widely and reprinted in over one hundred anthologies, including several by Cambridge, Norton, Oxford, and Penguin presses. Her work has been included in Best of Callaloo and selected four times for the Best American Poetry series. She is a recipient of a Jackson Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets Fellowship, United States Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Katherine Newman Award for Best Essay on Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Polish, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Bulgarian, and Kyrgyz. She has published eight poetry books, including Recyclopedia (Graywolf, 2006), winner of a PEN Beyond Margins Award, and Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California, 2002), a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A collection of her essays and interviews, The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, was published in 2012 by University of Alabama Press. Her poetry collection, Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary, published by Graywolf Press in 2013, is the subject of a recent article in the Journal of Modern Literature. More at



Photo by by Niqui Carter

TOMMY “TEEBS” PICO is author of the books IRLNature PoemJunkFeed, and myriad keen tweets (@heyteebs) including “sittin on the cock of gay.” Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now splits his time between Los Angeles and Brooklyn. He co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude, co-hosts the podcast “Food 4 Thot,” and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.






Photo by Siddhartha Sinha

BEN PURKERT is the author of For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018). His poems, essays, and book reviews appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. An editor at Guernica, he curates Back Draft, an interview series about poetry and revision. He currently teaches down the road at Rutgers New Brunswick.



A clip of a performance by the Cornelius Eady Trio (Cornelius Eady and guitarists Charlie Rauh & Lisa Liu) at the Sunken Garden Reading Series at the Hill Stead Museum, July 2017.

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The Berlind Theatre is located in McCarter Theatre Center at 91 University Place, Princeton.


Beginning on Friday, October 25, at 8:00 p.m., Alexander Street will be fully closed until 5:00 am on Sunday, October 27 to allow for construction work. Please follow the detour route on Faculty Road and Washington Road.

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  • Lewis Center for the Arts