KGB Bar: 25 years ago. . .

KGB Spring 1998

Below: photograph of Paul Violi and Star Black at KGB Bar; David Lehman and Stephanie Brown; Laura Cronk, Megin Jimenez, Michael Quatrrone; John Deming and Matthew Yeager; Deborah Landau and David Lehman; Star Black at the lectern.

Paul Violi and Star Black

Stephanie Brown at KGB

KGB Bar Laura Cronk  Megin Jiminez  Michael Quattrone

John Deming  Matthew Yeager

DL & Deborah Landau at KGB 2006 Star Black

About the Series:

Labeled New York’s best poetry series by such publications as New York Magazine and Time Out New York, the KGB Bar Monday Night Poetry Reading Series has hosted over 550 poets in more than 300 readings since it was founded in February1997 by Star Black and David Lehman; it  focuses on combining established writers with the most exciting young and upcoming poets.  The list of past readers includes legendary American and international poets: John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Jericho Brown, Anne Carson, Billy Collins, Elaine Equi, Mark Ford, Terrance Hayes, Richard Howard, Fannie Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Philip Levine, Ada Limon, Sharon Olds, Molly Peacock, Katha Pollitt, Marie Ponsot, Tomaz Salamun, Vijay Seshadri, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, James Tate, Anne Waldman, Dara Wier, Charles Wright, and Kevin Young.  Currently, the series is curated and hosted by poets John Deming, Jada Gordon, and Jason Schneiderman. Former curators incluide, besides Black and Lehman, Laura Cronk, Deborah Landau, Michael Quattrone, Mathew Yeager, and Matthew Zapruder.

About the Venue:

A former single-room speakeasy (one of Lucky Luciano’s favorites), KGB Bar was transformed into a Ukrainian socialist social club in 1948. To this day, the bar retains original decoration from its former incarnations, including a red hammer-and-sickle flag hanging from the tin ceiling, plus stained-glass Beaux Arts cabinetry, red walls, Soviet triumph posters, photographs, paintings, and sculptures.  KGB Bar is located at 85 East 4th Street in New York’s East Village (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue). Readings begin at 7:30 PM. There will be one ten-minute intermission. No cover charge for admission. All readings open to the public. Though it is smoke-free, the massive pervasive cigarette cloud that existed as little as twenty years ago (and contributed much to the venue’s conspiratorial air) is still easily imagined


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Author: The Best American Poetry