Poetry in America

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“It’s what poetry can do—it can take us to other places, in a moment.” Cynthia Nixon and other cultural figures including Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Biden, Sonia Sanchez, Shaquille O’Neal, Edward Hirsch, and Bono are featured in this trailer for the public television series Poetry in America. Hosted by Harvard professor Elisa New, each episode explores and interprets a single American poem.

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It Ain’t Hard to Tell

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In this Poetry in America video, hip-hop artist Nas sits down with Elisa New, professor of American Literature at Harvard University, to discuss his approach to writing and break down his lyrics. Poetry in America, created and directed by New, is a multi-platform initiative that encourages the spread of poetry through classes, conversations, and digital outreach.

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Hum Bom!

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Allen Ginsberg’s anti-war poem “Hum Bom!” is read by Bono and then discussed by U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Harvard professor Elisa New. New is the creator of Poetry in America, a multi-platform digital initiative that offers professional development classes for educational practitioners, as well as free online poetry courses.

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