In 1883, the same year she was teaching immigrants at 92Y’s then-downtown branch, Emma Lazarus gave voice to the Statue of Liberty with her famous poem, “The New Colossus,” now engraved on the statue’s pedestal.
“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” muses the Statue of Liberty in Lazarus’s imagined monologue. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
A week-long festival in July 2017, 92Y's #ANewColossus paid tribute to Lazarus’s iconic poem. Nineteen of our nation’s best emerging poets explored both the stories Lazarus’s poem invites, and those to which it may have blinded us, in new poems collected here and in a limited-edition chapbook.
Sophie Herron and Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, editors