The new Poets House building in Lower Manhattan near the Hudson (Photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)

As the plethora (din?) of voices and venues in the online free for all continues to expand exponentially, it is so helpful to have your own trusted list of favorites. Judith H. Dobrzynski is one of mine. Her blog, Real Clear Arts, covers a wide expanse of topics that, strangely enough, consistently interest and compel me. She’s brilliant, with polyglot expertise in so many different fields. Is this a case of a mind meld in the cybersphere? It would be too self-serving to say so out loud, so maybe I’ll just whisper it.

Her latest post, You Don’t Have To Be A Poet To Love Poets House, is a good example of our passion overlap. In existence for 25 years and lodged in various locations around Manhattan, Poets House has now relocated to a deluxe new home in Battery Park City, on the corner of Murray Street. And the success of this venture is no small feat—Poets House raised $11 million for developing the interior, with funding from both public and private sources.

From an article in the New York Times:

“The goal of the place is to make everyone feel that poetry belongs to them,” said Lee Briccetti, who has been executive director for 20 years. “Anyone can come and experience poetry in a new way that will deepen their relationship to language…”

“There has been an upswing in the appetite for poetry,” said Kate D. Levin, New York City’s cultural affairs commissioner. With the advent of poetry slams and spoken-word events, she added, poetry has “moved away from an association with a rarefied crowd to a more populist world and the Poets House folks are tapped into that.”

Dobrzynski ends her posting with her report of a comment made to her about Poets House by Boston-based poet Robert Pinsky: “God bless the caretakers; Poets House is a caretaker.”

Caretaking. That’s something all the arts could use a lot more of.

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