Poets House is ruled by such a consistent, monastic silence that it almost feels like quiet is being piped through the air ducts. Other than the occasional muffled footsteps and industrious tapping of computer keys, there’s nothing to distract visitors from the library’s extensive chapbook collection, the selection of slim hand-picked volumes scattered along its wall of windows, or the other 60,000 poetry books that stuff the shelves at its Battery Park City location. Opened to the public in 1986 in a rent-free space in a high school, Poets House soon moved to Soho, where it spent nearly two decades before relocating in 2009 to its current spacious, sun-filled perch on the Hudson River. The library won’t be going anywhere anytime soon: The organization secured a rent-free lease on the space through 2069. Admission is free; hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday,11 a.m. to 7 p.m; and the kids’ reading room is open Thursday through Saturday till 5 p.m.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014