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Art is one of the ways people communicate with one another. Every work of art brings the viewer to into a special kind of relationship, both with whoever has created or is creating the art and also with everyone else who—together with him, or before or afterwards—is subject to that
artistic impression.
—Leo Tolstoy

It would be a mistake to ascribe this creative power
to an inborn talent.
In art, the genius creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome, requiring an effort.
—Henri Matisse

Art is so varied that to reduce it to any single purpose, be it even the salvation of mankind, is an abomination before the Lord.
—Nikolai Gumilev

Conception, my boy, fundamental brain work,
is what makes all the difference in art.
—Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Art is art.
Everything else is everything else.
—Ad Reinhardt

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance…
and I know of no substitute whatever
for the force and beauty of its process.
—Henry James

It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see.
—Henry David Thoreau


Bridging Gaps

From the start of the twentieth century, poetry became notoriously opaque, difficult even for the well educated and interested non-expert reader. At the same time, contemporary poetry is endlessly fascinating for anyone who has learned the special and ingenious methods by which it generates meaning.

TransVerse makes it easy to enter the amazing world of contemporary poets and contemporary poetry.

Once every month, TransVerse brings a poet from another country, another language, another living tradition to the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Learn who the poet is, see how the poetry works.

Then the projector is powered up and the poet appears on the screen in person via video link. After a few words about personal experience, the poet reads a selection of poems, including those the audience now already knows.

A discussion with the moderator and translator follows, after which the audience is invited to talk with the poet directly.

TransVerse brings to New York poets a vast array of nations, continents and languages.

TransVerse selects poets who know how to talk about poetry, who are able to convey to an audience what they do and how it all works.

TransVerse is also a showcase for underappreciated wordsmiths of remarkable talent—that is, for poetic translators. Few things are more challenging than retaining the essence of poetry, which generally uses highly condensed meanings and intense wordplay.