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In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we're posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License, a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screen reading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. From Shakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, the lineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Western canon.
Jane Kenyon (1947–1995), a poet from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who spent much of her life on a New England farm, was known for her quiet verse and the influence of nature on her work. Kenyon, whose collections include From Room to Room (Alice James Books, 1978), The Boat of Quiet Hours (Graywolf Press, 1986), Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990), and Constance (Graywolf Press, 1993), died of leukemia on this day fifteen years ago.
Melissa Errico, who studied drama at Yale and Oxford, has appeared in Broadway productions of Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, Dracula, and White Christmas, among others. She has also recorded albums of her singing, Blue Like That and Lullabies and Wildflowers, as well as the forthcoming The Summer Knows.
"Otherwise" by Jane Kenyon, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.