6th Annual Gowanus Dawn Reading: Poetry of Hart Crane in Canoes
On Friday, September 30th, The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club will host their 6th annual Dawn Poetry Reading on the Gowanus Canal, this year featuring the poems of modern romantic poet Hart Crane. Intrepid readers will gather at sunrise, paddle canoes out onto the Gowanus Canal, and read poetry aloud, sharing it with an audience on shore. Originally held at the Carroll Street Bridge, the event moved to just south of the 9th Street Bridge after the superfund cleanup of the Gowanus Canal got underway in late 2020.
The audience is encouraged to watch from the Lowe’s Gowanus Esplanade, located along the Gowanus Canal adjacent to the Lowe’s parking lot. In addition to readers in canoes, Dredger’s captain Brad Vogel teases an exciting innovation for this year’s reading: weather permitting, the Dredgers’ new floating dock will be a part of the flotilla of vessels. “All the canal’s a stage!” says Vogel. “Our new dock is barely two months old and has already hosted a brass band and community paddlers—we’re excited to see how it handles some early morning poetry!”
The Gowanus Dawn Reading was created in 2017 by Vogel and his spirited crew, and has featured Brooklyn poets Walt Whitman, Lorine Niedecker, Audre Lorde, and Marianne Moore, among others. This year’s poet Hart Crane lived in Brooklyn Heights in the 1920s with his lover, a Danish mariner. They had a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. “Hart Crane loved Brooklyn,” says co-organizer Melody Bates. “His exuberant, sensuous appreciation of the city and its harbor makes his work a perfect fit for this only-in-New York event.”
Join us as we put the Fun in Superfund!