NYC Taxi

Third Thursday Poetry Night Featuring Cliff Fyman

New York City poet Cliff Fyman will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 7:30PM.

From 2012–2017 Cliff wrote a series of poems while driving a yellow taxi cab at night in New York City.  He will read from that work.

Cliff Fyman was born on Ash Wednesday in 1954 in the old St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village and grew up mostly in a low income, racially mixed section of South Jamaica, Queens attending orthodox Jewish parochial schools through high school. In 1975-78 he lived in Berkeley, where his closest friends were painters, and he was writing poetry and selling jewelry on Telegraph Avenue. While attending the first S.F. Poetry Festival in 1976, Fyman was in the audience when Anne Waldman announced the start of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He attended workshops at Naropa in March ’77 with Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Dick Gallup. Then he made my way back to NYC and studied at the Poetry Project with Harris Schiff, Michael Brownstein, and Bernadette Mayer. For many years, Fyman has lived in the East Village, writing poetry, drawing, painting and working as a waiter at a Broadway district theater and as a New York City yellow taxi cab driver.


Cliff Fyman reads from Nylon Sunlight and Fever from Don Yorty on Vimeo.


His poems have appeared in many magazines including Mag City, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Telephone, Hanging Loose, Vanitas, Napalm Health Spa, Not Enough Night, Chain, The Brooklyn Rail. They have also appeared in anthologies, including Out of This World (ed. Anne Waldman, Crown Publishers, 1991); Poems for the Nation: A Collection of Contemporary Political Poems (ed. Allen Ginsberg et al); Sugar, Alcohol and Meat (Giorno Poetry Systems Records, 1981); Encyclopedia of New York School Poets (ed. Terence Diggory, 2009); and his work is discussed in the critical study of Gary Lenhart’s book, The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry & Social Class (University of Michigan Press, 2006). A collaboration with Bernadette Mayer is included in her book, Poetry State Forest.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7:00 PM, with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3.00, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation, and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail:

The Social Justice Center, founded in 1981, is a non-profit organization working for progressive social change through education, community building, and collective action.  The center advances the struggles against racism and for peace and justice.  For further information about the SJC call 518-434-4037.

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