Poetry & Language

Center for Poetry, Poetic Drama and the Spoken Word

The purpose of The Harold Clurman Center for Poetry, Poetic Drama and the Spoken Word is to explore the relationship between the actor and dramatic language, to celebrate dramatic and poetic language as a necessary but perhaps under-appreciated aspect of the actor’s art and craft, and to open channels of communication between poets, playwrights, actors, directors, voice specialists and critics in order to better understand issues of written and spoken language and the relationship between them. The Board of Advisors for this Center is Literary Critic Harold Bloom, Poet John Ashbery, Poet Grace Schulman, Voice Experts Cicely Berry, Andrew Wade and Deborah Hecht.

“In the true spirit of Harold Clurman, for which it was named, the poetry reading series at the Stella Adler Conservatory is marvelous for its inter-cultural daring. The audiences are exciting for their mix of young actors, writers, and dedicated readers. To appear there is to be fully aware of stage presence in reciting poetry and of the poetry in stage presence. At one reading, I picked up a wax rose from a stage set and presented it to one of the poets. It was wax, not real, but for me symbolic of the unity of theater and poetry. The two arts are inextricably joined.”
– Grace Schulman, Poet

Poet Laureate

Award-Winning Writer Sonia Sanchez is Poet Laureate in perpetuity.

Poet in Residence

Award Winning Writer Evie Shockley is the 2023-2024 Poet-in-Residence.

Poet & literary scholar Evie Shockley thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly we, semiautomatic, and the new black.  Her work has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has appeared internationally.  Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Stephen Henderson Award, and her joys include participating in poetry communities such as Cave Canem and collaborating with like-minded artists working in various media.  Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Previous Poet-in-Residence Artists include:
Sonia Sanchez, 2022-2023
Mark Doty, 2021-2022
Rachel Eliza Griffiths, 2020-2021
Grace Schulman, 2019-2020
Gregory Pardlo, 2018-2019
Idra Novey, 2017-2018
Yusef Komunyakaa, 2016-2017
Sonia Sanchez, 2015-2016

The Harold Clurman Poetry Reading Series

The Harold Clurman Poetry Reading Series, created in 1997, brings great poets to the Studio to read their work and, if interested, discuss their artistic process. Poetry readings are free and open to the public.

2023-2024 Poetry Series:
Oct. 31, 2023 – Evie Shockley, Terrance Hayes and Brenda Shaughnessy
Jan. 31, 2024 – Gregory Pardlo and Anders Carlson-Wee
Feb. 12, 2024 – Idra Novey, Christina Delaine and Sean Runnette

Participating Artists Include:

John Ashbery
Susan Baron
Erin Belieu
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Harold Bloom
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor
Mahogany L. Browne
Alexander Chee
Marc Cohen
Henri Cole
Alfred Corn
Darian Dauchan
Deborah Diggs
Mark Doty
Carol Muske Dukes
Marcella Durand
Cornelius Eady
Jonathan Galassi
Forrest Gander
Aracelis Girmay
Manuel Gonzalez
Colin Greer
Marilyn Hacker
Rachel Hadas
Terrance Hayes
Gerrit Henry
Edward Hirsh
Marie Howe
Saeed Jones
Ty Jones
Galway Kinnell
Kenneth Koch
Yusef Komunyakka
Li-Young Lee
David Lehman
Philip Levine
Anne Marie Macari
Carolyn Martin
Cate Marvin
Jeffrey McDaniel
Stanley Moss
Peter Nickowitz
Idra Novey
Sharon Olds
Madeleine Olnek
Gregory Pardlo
Cathy Park-Hong
Molly Peacock
Robert Pinsky
Liam Rector
Alice Reys
F.D. Reeve
Eugene Richie
Grace Schulman
Martha Serpas
Ravi Shankar
Brenda Shaughnessy
Reginald Shephard
James Sherry
Evie Shockley
Charles Simic
Jonathan Skinner
Patricia Smith
Gerald Stern
Mark Strand
James Tate
Susan Wheeler
C.K. Williams
Jerry Williams