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Compelling rhythm of structured words

Poetry is language caught alive

It is our belief that values are shaped by great language and great thought. The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation aims to expand access to poetry and educational poetry materials, gathering outstanding poems from across places, eras, and traditions for audiences worldwide to enjoy.

Poetry is language caught alive. It combines the compelling rhythm of structured words with profound and intense insights into human nature; it is a novel on a page; it allows people to have a cathartic experience in a short amount of time. We are committed to bringing that experience to as many people as possible across a multitude of media. In partnership with celebrated poetry institutions, we are bringing great poems from page to film, creating new opportunities for our visitors to discover the music and magic of language.

From Tippet Rise Art Center
- One of our main partners

What we do

As T. S. Eliot wrote, “Poetry should be read to us by skilled readers.” Brinkerhoff’s focus is on filming actors, poets, and regular people reading and performing poems. Thus far, films have been made across Ireland and the UK and in New York, Miami, and Montana.

Complementing the films is our growing archive of text poetry, which ranges from English metaphysical poets and early American writers through contemporary poets born throughout the world. Their subjects span the personal and universal, touching on broad human themes that include identity, belonging, immigration, motherhood, love, loss, and our relationship with the natural world. Our focus is on English-language poems, but works translated from French, Indonesian, Irish, Kashmiri, Latin, Russian, and Spanish also appear in our archive.

Digital access to poetry may allow us to reach the most people, but we believe that physical books must also be preserved, so future generations will know what it feels like to turn a heavy page, to feel the hemp, to smell the mustiness, to hold a beautiful edition or a traditional binding. To this end, Brinkerhoff is now working toward establishing libraries in the United States and Ireland to supplement its digital presence.

«We aim to expand access to poetry and educational poetry materials for audiences worldwide to enjoy»

The Founders

Cathy and Peter Halstead have known each other since they were 16. They both grew up in families that for generations have sought to bring art and education to communities in the United States and abroad. They were later classmates at Columbia and NYU. Cathy is an abstract painter, who has shown around the world. Peter is a pianist, photographer, and poet. He has published several volumes of poems and photos.

Cathy and Peter founded the Digital Scholarship Lab in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library at Brown University, where Cathy is a Member Emerita of the Corporation. Cathy is on the board of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Storm King Art Center. She and Peter are trustees of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, which makes over one hundred grants annually to charities in the United States, Ireland, and England. Grantees include Storm King Art Center, the Colburn School, Ocean Discovery Institute, Indigenous Environmental Network, Chamber Music Society, and the Aspen Music Festival and Bravo! Vail festival.

Cathy and Peter have two wonderful daughters and two adorable grandchildren.

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Founders Cathy and Peter Halstead

Tippet Rise Art Center

Founded by Peter and Cathy Halstead in 2016, Tippet Rise Art Center is located in Fishtail, Montana, against the backdrop of the Beartooth Mountains, roughly midway between Billings and Bozeman and north of Yellowstone National Park. Set on a 12,000-acre working sheep and cattle ranch, Tippet Rise hosts classical chamber music and recitals and exhibits large-scale outdoor sculptures. Tippet Rise celebrates the concept that art, music, architecture, and nature are inextricably linked in the human experience, each making the others more powerful. The art center features musical performance spaces indoors and out, with programs that seek to create memorable experiences for performers and audience members alike.

Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation partners with Tippet Rise to create live events and onsite poetry projects, including poet residencies, readings, and literary performances. Future projects will include creating a library for writers, poets, and artists to visit, where they can draw from the book collections to develop their own projects, all while engaging in literary and educational programming at Tippet Rise.

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Our Partners

Our partners in film production include Poetry Ireland in Dublin, Poet in the City in London, Irish Cultural Centre in London, Academy of American Poets in New York, O, Miami, Bloomsday Film Festival in Dublin, Belfast Book Festival, and the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City.

We have created films with actors from Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company and the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Brinkerhoff also deeply thanks filmmaker and photographer Matthew Thompson for his integral role in creating and editing the majority of our films, as well as for the use of his photography throughout the site. We offer thanks to film series directors Eric Felipe-Barkin and Jean Coleman as well.


Amy Holmes serves as Brinkerhoff’s Executive Director. In addition to her role as founding executive director, Amy serves as Program Officer for the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, where she leads all grantmaking in the arts, education, environment, and medical research.

Amanda Glassman, Brinkerhoff’s Editorial Director and Digital Communications Consultant, worked most recently at Poets House, where she directed library operations as well as social media and web content. Reach out to her with questions or feedback at amanda@brinkerhoffpoetry.org.