The Poetry Society of America's Spring Benefit
June 18, 2019
The New York Botanical Garden

An Evening Honoring Paul Simon and Alice Quinn
with Special Guests Billy Collins and Tracy K. Smith

Join us for an unforgettable evening celebrating legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon for his magnificent musical achievement and legacy and the visionary leader of the Poetry Society of America, Alice Quinn, for holding poetry aloft in American life throughout her remarkable career.


For questions or more information, please contact benefit@poetrysociety.org

Join us in the garden

  • 6:30 pm: Cocktails, Music & Silent Auction
  • 7:30 pm: Seated Dinner + Presentation of the Award

Location: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, New York. Directions available here.

During his distinguished career, Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including 16 Grammy Awards, three of which—Bridge over Troubled Water, Still Crazy after All These Years, and Graceland—were Albums of the Year.  In 2003, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel. Simon is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist.

 Simon was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2002 and was named one of Time magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006. In 2007, Simon was awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. And in 2012, he was named the recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with Yo-Yo Ma.

 Simon's philanthropic work includes the co-founding of the Children's Health Fund (CHF), which donates and staffs 53 mobile medical units that bring health care to low-income children and their families in urban and rural locations around the United States. Since its inception in 1987, CHF has provided more than 3 million doctor/patient visits.

 Over his career, Simon has also raised millions of dollars for worthy causes as varied as Autism Speaks, The Nature Conservancy, CURE, and Tibet House. In June 2017, net proceeds from Paul Simon's month-long U.S. tour were donated to benefit the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, which is committed to stopping the species extinction crisis by conserving half the planet's lands and oceans.

Alice Quinn has been the Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America since January, 2001 and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's graduate School of the Arts for nearly thirty years. She was poetry editor at The New Yorker from 1987-2007 as well as an editor of fiction and critics' pieces for many years. Prior to that, she was at Alfred A. Knopf, Publishers, from 1976-1986, where she established a distinguished poetry series and also edited fiction, cultural criticism, and books on American folk art.  She is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop and is currently at work editing Bishop's journals.