Randall’s Island Park Alliance

Literary Program

Randall’s Island Park offers vast acres of green space, woodlands, and beautiful gardens running along the East and Harlem Rivers. It provides a place of contemplation for writers, historians, poets, and others who visit the Park as a refuge from the cacophony of life in New York City.​ Travelers along the Island’s miles of waterfront pathways can experience stunning views of Manhattan, and the six bridges that span the sky and connect Randall’s Island to the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

This is a free event but registration is required. 

Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm


Thursday, March 25: Guest speaker RIPA Natural Areas and Horticulture staff, Jackie Wu & Victoria Kam

Thursday, April 8: Guest speaker artist Rebecca Allan

Thursday, April 22: Guest speaker Poet and Author Aimee Nezhukumatathil

About World of Wonders…

Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil in her enchanting book, World of Wonders, In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, (Milkweed Press, 2020) takes the reader by the hand to discover the wonder found in the natural world, as we travel with her across the various landscapes of her own life. She writes of love, beauty and relationships. World of Wonders includes warm and lyrical illustrations by artist Fumi Mini Nakamura. Many of the essays in World of Wonders have been published in journals and on literary websites.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s books of poetry include:
Lucky Fish
At the Drive-In Volcano
Miracle Fruit

Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of World of Wonders, an illustrated essay collection, as well as of four books of poetry, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program. (photo credit: Caroline Beffa Photography)

Writer In Residence: Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth Howard, writer in residence at Randall’s Island Park, has never had barriers between her life, work, art and writing. Experience, sense of place and exploration define the choices she makes, seeking collaboration, flexibility and responsiveness in the projects she designs and engages with. As a journalist her articles related to communication and marketing have appeared in European Communications, Investor Relations, Law Firm Marketing & Profit Report, Communications Arts, Communication World, The Strategist, Board Member and the New York Law Journal, among others. Her books include: Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Blackberry Pie, reflections on growing up in New Hampshire, published by Thornwillow Press in 2011 and A Day with Bonefish Joe, published by David R. Godine, 2015. She edited Ned O’Gorman: A Glance Back published by Easton Studio Press in 2016. She was the inaugural Madeleine L’Engle Fellow at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine from 2017-2020.

Guest Speakers:

RIPA Park-As-Lab Coordinator: Jacqueline Wu

Born and raised in New York, Jackie has had a hard time leaving the city. Despite venturing upstate for college and to three different seas for her Master’s, Jackie always finds her way back to where she grew up. Jackie dreams of SCUBA diving around the world someday to see all sorts of fishes but for now, enjoys her time as the Park-as-Lab Coordinator at Randall’s Island Park Alliance. It allows her the freedom to pursue projects in any ecological topic she likes. Her favorites are fish-related and she’s forever trying to add to the growing list, but Jackie is starting to see the appeal of pollinators and birds.

RIPA Horticulturist: Victoria Kam

Victoria is a native New Yorker and a seasonal horticulturist at Randall’s Island.  She grew up playing in the city’s public parks and her love of urban green spaces led to studies in landscape architecture, sustainability, and horticulture.  Before joining the team at Randall’s Island, she was a John Nally Intern at Wave Hill and a seasonal gardener at Newfields as well as a longtime volunteer at Hudson River Park, Central Park, and The Battery Conservancy.  This is her first season at Randall’s Island and she is looking forward to working alongside fellow passionate horticulturists dedicated to transforming the Island into a sustainable and ecological diverse space for local New Yorkers to enjoy.

Painter and Horticulturist: Rebecca Allan

Rebecca Allan is a New York-based painter and horticulturist who runs a sustainable gardening firm called “Painterly Gardens.” Rebecca Allan is also known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings. Her work investigates watershed environments of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Lebanon, France, and Norway, and is inspired by her deep interest in botany and land conservation.

Bookstore Locations:

A special video from Vesper Flights author Helen Macdonald…