Where is some of the best American poetry being produced? If you go by the National Book Awards, three of this year’s five finalists—Nikky Finney, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Carl Phillips—are all on the teaching faculty of Cave Canem, the Brooklyn-based writer’s center for African-American poets. Of course, the nonprofit can’t do all its great work without the generous help of donors. So tonight, show your support and come out to their annual benefit show Cave Canem Brings the Drama. The evening includes Suzzanne Douglas performing selections from May Joseph’s Fled; Samantha Maurice and John Douglas Thompson performing a piece from Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination; Tracie Morris performing Claudia Rankine and Casey Llewellyn’s Existing Conditions; and Lili Taylor performing a monologue from Jessica Hagedorn’s Stairway to Heaven.

Mon., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., 2011