Poet Robert Lowell wrote a stage adaptation of Benito Cereno for The Old Glory, his trilogy of plays, in 1964. The Old Glory was initially produced off-Broadway in 1964 for the American Place Theatre with Frank Langella and Roscoe Lee Browne as its stars and was later staged during the 1965-66 season of the television series NET Playhouse. It was later revived off-Broadway in 1976. In 2011, Benito Cereno was performed in another off-Broadway production without the other two plays of the trilogy.
Yusef Komunyakaa wrote a poem, "Captain Amasa Delano's Dilemma," based on Benito Cereno. The poem was first published in American Poetry Review in 1996.
Gary J. Whitehead's poem "Babo Speaks from Lima," based on Benito Cereno, was first published in Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies in 2003. It was reprinted in A Glossary of Chickens (Princeton University Press, 2013).