October 17, 2001:The New School, Tischman Auditorium at 66 West 12th St. from 7:00-10:00 PM
October 17, 2001:San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco from 7:00-9:00 PM
November 30, 2001:The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont Street from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Musician Lou Reed, actor Claire Danes, poet Sharon Olds, novelist Rick Moody, Oscar Hijuelos and Richard Price, and 60 other readers joined NYC Firefighters, Police Officers, and grade-school children for two major community poetry readings in New York and San Francisco to benefit the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. The readings, entitled Words to Comfort, took place at the New School Tischman Auditorium in New York City and at San Francisco’s Main Library on October 17, 2001. Many of the poems read were selected from the enormous public outpouring of poetry posted at New York City fire stations, Union Square, and numerous other memorial sites around the city. The Word That Comfort benefit at San Francisco’s Main Library featured San Francisco Poet Laureate Janice Mirikitani and award-winning poets Kim Addonizio, Chana Bloch, and Ruth Daigon. The reading Boston featured X.J. Kennedy, Frank Bidart, Boston Fire Commissoner Paul A. Christian, and others.
The New School reading was sponsored by the New School Writing Program and Rattapallax Press. The San Francisco Main Library was sponsored by Poets-for-Peace and the San Francisco Public Library. The Boston co-sponsors are William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, Tapestry of Voices and Rattapallax Press.
NYC School Children reading at the New School. The purpose of the World Trade Center Relief Fund is to assist the families and dependents of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. This fund is for the benefit of all victims both injured and deceased, including innocent civilians, the dedicated firefighters, policemen, Port Authority officers, Emergency Medical Personnel and relief workers. After the monetary needs of these affected people have been addressed, consideration may be given to other related relief and recovery expenses.