Lee Briccetti is a poet and has been the long-time Executive Director of Poets House. Born in Italy and raised in the United States, her writing explores issues of place, the natural world and community-building for justice. Her first book, Day Mark, was published by Four Way Books in 2005. Her second, Blue Guide, is forthcoming in 2017. She has won a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry and a Poetry Fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Briccetti’s essays have appeared in Blueprints: Bringing Poetry into Communities, ed. Katharine Coles (The Poetry Foundation) as well as This-World Company: Collected Essays on the Work of Jean Valentine, ed. Kazim Ali and John Hoppenthaler (Michigan University Press). Many essays and introductions have also appeared in Poets House publications, including The Language of Conservation, a compilation of essays on language’s relationship to the environment and Essays on the Occasion of Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World. In 2014, Poetic Species: A Conversation Between E.O. Wilson and Robert Hass was framed by her introductory notes and published by Bellevue Literary Press. She has extensive public speaking experience and has taught at New York University.
Her leadership of Poets House has built it into one of the premiere literary centers in the United States and one of the great poetry libraries in the world. She created The Poets House Showcase, which gathers all of the year’s new books of poetry in one place, now in its twenty-fifth year. She established Poetry in The Branches, which for the past fifteen years has mentored scores of public library systems, helping them to become centers for the discovery of poetry in their own communities.
She led the building of a permanent home for Poets House to which the organization moved in 2009. Now in Lower Manhattan, 80,000 people cross the Poets House threshold annually, millions more experience poetry through the organization’s online presence or national programs in partner libraries and cultural institutions.
Lee Briccetti Blue Guide was recently released from Four Way Books in 2018.
Advance Praise for Blue Guide
"There are so many reasons to praise Lee Briccetti’s Blue Guide! She’s a poet of the city and the country, but of the actual city and country—the phantasmagorias of O’Hara and Whitman couldn’t be further from her measured, tough-minded way of seeing. To read her meditations on Rome and New York, and on rural life in farm country, in which her love of geology and architecture grounds her emotional life in the materiality of the world, is to gain a profound appreciation for what Seamus Heaney once called 'the primal reach of the physical.' ... But Briccetti’s devotion to caring for the surfaces of the world by saying what really happened gives her work a wideness of scope that is rare in contemporary poetry. ... She patiently deploys a wide-ranging, but always accurate idiom, quietly musical, that aligns her with the work of Thom Gunn, George Oppen, and Lorine Niedecker."
Reviewed in Washington Independent Review of Books
Lee Briccetti’s first book of poems, Day Mark, was released from Four Way Books in 2005.
"Just when you figure Lee Briccetti couldn't possibly give anything more to American Poetry, along comes this surprising first book, vivid, bittersweet (in the best sense of the term), perfectly balanced between art and heart. How wonderful to discover that as she was shoring up the roof and walls of Poets House, she was also building this other space, where word, flesh, memory, and our urban desires (and dreads) can freely and fully co-mingle. Reading Day Mark will leave you at times near breathless over the way the image, the music and deep invention of the poet slot together. The really grand books of poetry hold many wondrous and terrible worlds. Here, dear reader, in your hands, you hold the door, and the key to one of these. You shouldn't wait to know what she knows." —Cornelius Eady
The Poetic Species
A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and
Robert Hass with a Foreword by Lee Briccetti
Former United States Poet Laureate Robert Hass and internationally acclaimed entomologist Edward O. Wilson discuss evolution, education, and the promise of “consilience”—or the unity of knowledge—in addressing our biggest problems. As they explore the many ways that poetry and science enhance each other.
In print for the first time, their shimmering dialogue is the outgrowth of a public conversation hosted by the American Museum of Natural History and Poets House, and published by Bellevue Literary Press. A testament to how science and the arts can join forces to educate and inspire, the book is also a passionate plea for conservation of all the planet’s species. (Bellevue Literary Press)
Poetry Sunday: How Lee Briccetti Began by Women's Voices for Change featuring "County Planning" from Blue Guide
September 18 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Lee Briccetti reads with Monica Ferrell, Tom Thompson and Daniel Tobin
Four Way Books Reading at Bryant Park
The Reading Room, 1060 Avenue of the Americas, NYC
Lee Briccetti reads with Danny Lawless
November 8 at 7:00 pm
Lee Briccetti reads with Valerie Wallace and Nathan McLain
BookCulture, 536 112th Street and Broadway, NYC
November 14 at 7:00 pm
Lee Briccetti reads at the Living Writers Series
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
December 3 at 7:00 pm
Lee Briccetti reads with Elizabeth Arnold
KGB, 85 E. 4th Street, NYC