Please read our FAQ below, but if you have a question we haven't already answered, feel free to shoot us a message!

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  • I want to read at the Festival. How do I book a reading?

The New York City Poetry Festival is programmed entirely by the organizations that make poetry readings happen in this city. If you would like to read at the festival, we suggest that you contact your publisher, collective, reading series, or other organization with which you are associated and encourage them to apply to host a reading at the event. The submission period opens around February each year. If you aren’t a part of a larger poetry organization or submission to host a reading are closed, we suggest that you bring some poems to the event and read at the Ring of Daisies open mic, which you can sign up for on site!

  • Do I need tickets to attend?

Nope, it’s free! However, you can search for “The New York City Poetry Festival” on Eventbrite to find out about our various VIP ticket options. 

  • Is the festival all ages?

Yes! The festival is child-, teen-, and adult-friendly. We even have a youth program for kids and young adults!

  • How do I get to Governors Island?

Directions to the island and the festival grounds are available here.

  • Is the ferry free?

The Governors Island ferries are only free before 12pm each day. The rest of the ferry times require a payment of $3 roundtrip. You can also take the NYC Ferry for $2.75 each way. Please check out directions to the island for more details.

  • What happens if it rains?

The festival will happen RAIN OR SHINE! There is no rain date or plans for rescheduling. If the forecast looks particularly dismal, we'll do everything in our power to move activities inside or onto covered porches, and we'll rent some extra tents. We may also get wet! But with a decent happiness... :)

  • What's the best time to arrive?

Ferries leave exactly at their scheduled times, so please plan to arrive a few minutes before departure to board. The ferry rides from Brooklyn and Manhattan take about 10-15 minutes. The walk to the festival grounds from the ferry landings takes an additional 10-15 minutes. We recommend that you come early and stay all day! But certainly plan to arrive at the ferry at least 30 minutes before you would like to arrive at the festival.

  • Will you be posting set times in advance?

Yes, a list of set times will be posted on our Readings page closer to the festival.

  • Who are the headlining poets for this year, and how do I become a headliner?

Headliners are listed on the festival’s landing page each year! If you don’t see them listed, they have not yet been selected for this year. Headliners are esteemed poets who are nominated by the Poetry Society of New York’s board and staff each year. There is no application process for becoming a headliner.

  • How do I join your mailing list?

If you’d like to hear from The Poetry Society of New York from time to time and stay up to date on the latest from The Poetry Brothel, The Typewriter Project, and the New York City Poetry Festival, you can sign up for our mailing list by clicking here and selecting your interests.

  • How can I help support the festival?

Your attendance is all that really matters, but if you are feeling extra generous, there are a few different ways you can support the festival. You can make a fully tax-deductible donation to The Poetry Society of New York. You can sponsor the festival. You can purchase one of our premium packages on Eventbrite! You can also volunteer for us. Thank you so much for your interest!

  • How hot will it get in the day?

The average high in New York City on July 28th since 1974 has been 84 degrees F.

  • What should I bring to the festival?

We recommend that you bring sunscreen, a blanket to lounge on, an appetite for food and books and cash to satiate it, a bag big enough to carry your books home, and some of your own poetry to read at our open mic Ring of Daisies! Parasols, tote bags, tee-shirts, and journals will also be available for sale! 

  • How do I submit art for the Festival?

Please click “get involved” in the menu above between February-June of each year.

  • Are you hiring volunteers at the event?

Please click “get involved” in the menu above between February-June of each year.

  • Can I pass out flyers inside? Outside?

Please do not pass out flyers in or outside the event.  If you would like to be a vendor/exhibitor and distribute flyers at your table, apply to become a vendor by clicking “get involved” in the menu above between February-June of each year.

  • How do I become a food vendor?

Food trucks and carts may apply to be vendors by clicking “get involved” in the menu above between February-June of each year.

  • How do I become a non-food vendor?

Apply to become a non-food vendor by clicking “get involved” in the menu above between February-June of each year.

  • Are there any places to rent a bicycle nearby?

Yes. Bikes, quadracycles and tandems can be rented on Governors Island. Rental rates and details are available on the Governors Island website.

  • Can I ride my bike to the Festival? Where do I park my bicycle?

Yes. The free public ferries to Governors Island take bicyclists and pedestrians to Governors Island during its public hours. You may park and lock your bike wherever you can find a spot, but Governors Island and the New York City Poetry Festival cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen bikes.  Motorized bikes of any kind are not permitted.

  • Can I bring my own alcohol?

No. And the Governors Island ferry staff will check your bags before you board the ferry.  However, we do have a bar where you can purchase beer and wine for as low as $6 each. In NYC, that’s a steal!

  • Can I bring cigarettes?

Yes. But it is against the law to smoke them on the festival grounds. Smokers, bring your e-cigarettes along!

  • Can I bring my pet?

No. Sadly, pets are not allowed on Governors Island unless they are registered support/assistance animals.

  • Will there be vegetarian/vegan food offered? Kosher? Gluten Free?

We do our best to bring in food carts that can accommodate every diet, but if you can't find what you're looking for inside the festival, there are more food trucks just outside the festival grounds at Liggett Terrace, and bringing food to the island is 100% permitted.

  • Can I bring my own food and water?

Absolutely. Governors Island has slowly begun introducing potable water to the island, but there is only a single drinking fountain available on the festival grounds. Water and food are available for purchase, but visitors can bring their own water as well.

  • Will there be flushable toilets and sinks available?

Indoor bathrooms with sinks and flushable toilets are located in Building 110 at Soissons Landing, about a 5-10 minute walk from the festival grounds. There are also trailer bathrooms and port-a-sans located on the festival grounds.

  • Is the event/venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes! The ferry, festival grounds, and restrooms are all wheelchair accessible.

  • Will I be able to find security if needed? Will there be First Aid on site?

There are security and emergency services on Governors Island when it is open to the public. EMTs are available to respond to medical emergencies. Two security guards will be on the festival grounds at all times responding to any kind of emergency.

  • Will there be ATMs?

Yes. ATMs are located in Building 110 at Soissons Landing, about a 5-10 minute walk from the festival grounds.

  • Will there be a Lost & Found?

The Trust for Governors Island operates a lost and found. Please call 212-809-3299 if you lost something on-site. However, The New York City Poetry Festival and Governors Island cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items. Please try to hold onto your things!

  • Will there be a sunglasses / visors or hats / sunscreen sold?

Possibly! Check out our list of vendors. The festival itself does not sell those items, but parasols will be available for sale!

  • Can I buy festival merchandise online?

If you would like to order some festival merchandise, you can email nycpofest@gmail with your request, and someone will be in touch with you to place your order. 

  • Will there be a festival map available ahead of time so we can see which poets will be at which stages? And see locations of food and bathroom areas?

Maps will be handed out for free at the festival entrance. We will also post the map on our website a few days before the festival. 

  • Will there be cell phone charging in the venue?

Nope. Please bring a backup battery pack if you'd concerned about your cell phone's battery life. 

  • I have another question!

That's cool! Email us at, and we'll be happy to answer it!