Poets Aloud

Toi Derricotte

This event has been postponed.

“What song do you sing when you sing ‘so low we can’t hear you?’ Toi Derricotte makes poetry of that song. It rises from ‘the houses where you hear the least squealing,’ it is ‘quieter than blossoms & near invisible.’ It is filled with witness and love for our literal and literary families.”


The story of Toi Derricotte is a hero’s odyssey.  It is the journey of a poetic voice that in each book earns her way to home, to her own commanding powers.

I, New and Selected Poems shows the reader both the closeness of the enemy and the poet’s inherent courage, inventiveness, and joy.  It is a record of one woman’s response to the repressive and fracturing forces around the subjects of race, class, color, gender, and sexuality.  Each poem is an act of victory as they find their way through the repressive forces to speak with both beauty and truth.

A Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry, Toi Derricotte is the co-founder of Cave Canem Foundation (with Cornelius Eady), Professor Emerita at the University of Pittsburgh and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Toi serves on Marsh Hawk Press’s Artistic Advisory Board.

How do you gain access to the
power of parts of yourself you
abhor, and make them sing
with beauty, tenderness, and compassion?
This is the record of fifty years
of victories in the reclamation
of a poet’s voice.



Bookstore Partner

Signed books will be available for sale from our local bookseller White Whale Bookstore.


Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 7 p.m. (Postponed)

Toi Derricotte deeply regrets that given travel restrictions associated with COVID-19, she is unable to present on Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures’ Poets Aloud series. We plan to reschedule at a future date.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Liann Tsoukas and Rob Ruck

JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Heather Cox Richardson

OCT 28