The Robert Burns Statue in Washington Park in Albany, NY

Poets in the Park 2024

Poets in the Park celebrates 35 years of bringing poetry in July to the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany, NY. The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. This year the readings will be on Saturdays July 13, 20, and 27; the readings start at 7:00 PM and are free and open to the public; donations are accepted. In case of rain, the reading will be held at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany.

The 2024 readers are:

  • July 13: Albany High School winners of the Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize & Joseph Bruchac
  • July 20: Richard Levine & Samira Sangaré
  • July 27: Jackie Craven & Nathan Smith

The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Blvd. passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Ave. Please bring your chairs or blankets to sit on. This program is sponsored and funded by The Poetry Motel Foundation and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox at or call 518-482-0262.


Joseph Bruchac, an award-winning author of over 180 books, is a poet, traditional storyteller, and musician. In 2023 he was named the Poet Laureate of his hometown of Saratoga Springs, NY and awarded a major fellowship by the Academy of American Poets.

Richard Levine, author of Now in Contest, Selected Poems, Contiguous States, and five chapbooks, is an Advisory Editor of Recipient of the 2021 Connecticut Poetry Society Award, he co-edited Invasion of Ukraine 2022: Poems.

Samira Sangaré a slam poet, activist, human rights scholar, and Saratoga Black Lives Matter co-founder. For over 8 years, she has been performing at local slams, rallies, and events and has organized several readings showcasing spoken word talent from across the area.

Jackie Craven writes about time warps, cyborgs, and talking furniture. Her newest book, WHISH, won this year’s poetry award from Press 53.

Nathan Smith has been writing since he was a high school student in rural Pennsylvania but only decided to start sharing his work when he moved to New York in 2020. He has been published in literary magazines such as Baily’s Beads and Resonance and won first place in the McKinney Writing Contest at RPI in 2023 and 2024, as well as in the Talk Without Borders Poetry Contest; he published his first book Cotton Candy Sun in 2022.

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