To foster the professional development of poets and writers, promote communication throughout the U.S. literary community, and help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.
About the Organization:
In 1970, Galen Williams, the director of New York's 92nd Street YM-YWHA Poetry Center, leveraged seed money from the New York State Council on the Arts to launch a new organization that would provide fees to writers for readings and teaching workshops. Begun in an apartment near the theater district, Poets & Writers has grown into the largest nonprofit organization for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in the country, with more than 100,000 poets, fiction, and creative nonfiction writers benefiting from its programs every year.
Each year, P&W provides more than $200,000 to writers from thirty-five states through its Readings/Workshops program. It also publishes six issues of Poets & Writers magazine a year, and distributes five thousand complimentary copies of the magazine to literary festivals, conferences, and organizations. In addition, P&W responds to nearly two thousand inquires annually from writers seeking information on topics ranging from first-book contests to MFA programs, awards more than $50,000 in prizes to emerging and established writers, and distributes $200,000 annually in matching grants (restricted to the payment of writers' fees) to a variety of organizations, from community centers to prominent art museums.
Poets & Writers Online features a Directory of Writers that provides contact information, publication credits, and biographical information for more than 7,500 authors; databases of literary magazines, small presses, and grants and awards; and a national events calendar. The site also offers slideshows, podcasts, and videos, as well as a Speakeasy message forum that serves as a central meeting place for writers.
Poets & Writers receives funding from foundations, corporations, governmental organizations, and individual donors.