Free admission (all visitors, all hours)


Come celebrate Emma Lazarus’ birthday! Born on July 22, 1849, in the middle of a Cholera Epidemic, she would be 171 this year. AJHS invites previous participants to come and share the poems they have written during or after previous workshops. This is an opportunity to discuss our work and celebrate!

Led by celebrated teaching poets and contributors to the 92nd Street Y’s #ANewColossus poetry festival, these virtual poetry workshops will delve into the construction and techniques used in writing “The New Colossus,” and place Lazarus’ poem side by side with work by contemporary poets that is “descended” from, or inspired by, the original poem.

Using what they have discovered as a springboard, salon participants will have two writing sessions per class based on prompts inspired by the poems they have discussed. During each salon, participants will have the chance to share the work they have created with their peers.  Some take-home revision and new poem prompt ideas will be provided as well.

Salon participants have the opportunity to submit their work to AJHS’ national poetry contest. Poems are being accepted on a rolling basis, and winner will be announced September of 2020.

Featuring: Lynn Melnick

Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik, Landscape with Sex and Violence, and If I Should Say I Have Hope, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation. Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and A Public Space. Her essays have appeared in LA Review of Books, ESPN, and the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a bit of a memoir, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022. A former fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and previously on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, she currently teaches poetry at Columbia University and the 92Y.

Poetry Writing Workshops Inspired By “The New Colossus”

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 6:30 pm
Ticket Info: FREE


LIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES: Emma Lazarus’ Red Manuscript

A New Interactive Zoom Series from AJHS!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 1:00 pm
Ticket Info: Free with RSVP


Emma Lazarus handwrote her work here in the mid-1880s, and while we typically turn to page 1 to study “The New Colossus,” this time we’ll turn to page 2 to study “Progress & Poverty.” Initially published in the New York Times, Lazarus wrote the poem after reading labor activist and journalist Henry George’s 526-page economic analysis, Progress & Poverty. Join Executive Director, Dr. Annie Polland and AJHS Director of Collections and Engagement, Melanie Meyers for a live show that draws on the perspectives of Professor Schor, historian Ed O’Donnell, author of Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age,  and others, as you discover more facets to Lazarus’s work.