Elegy by Linda Pastan

Caption: 

“Last night the moon lifted itself / on one wing / over the fields.” In this 1992 recording for Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s The Writing Life, Linda Pastan reads her poem “Elegy,” which appears in her collection Imperfect Paradise (Norton, 1989). Pastan died at the age of ninety on January 30, 2023.

Genre: 

Remembering Charles Simic

Caption: 

“The best things that happen in poems are discoveries, they’re accidents; what comes out of our imagination, out of our deepest self, out of our memory.” In this 2007 PBS NewsHour interview, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic speaks about his childhood in Yugoslavia, writing about war, becoming a U.S. poet laureate, and the freedom in poetry. Simic died at the age of eighty-four on January 9, 2023.

Genre: 

Summer Morning

Caption: 

“I know all the dark places / Where the sun hasn’t reached yet...” Charles Simic reads his poem “Summer Morning,” which he says needs no introduction, in this video for an installment of Poetry Breaks, a series created by Leita Luchetti in the 1980s and 1990s presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. The Pulitzer Prize–winning poet died at the age of eighty-four on January 9, 2023.

Genre: 

Hilton Als on Joan Didion

Caption: 

“Joan Didion taught me that family was always part of the story, along with place, and that the writer’s job was to face the terror, beauty, banality, and truth inherent in being a citizen of both.” In this video, Hilton Als speaks about Joan Didion’s influence on his writing at a celebration of her life and work held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

Poets in Person: Stephen Dunn

Caption: 

“I never know what to say after someone says ‘that’s beautiful’ except to agree with them. For me, beauty is an end of conversation.” In this 2011 video for the Cortland Review, as a part of the documentary series Poets in Person, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn speaks about his writing practice from his home. Dunn died at the age of eighty-two on June 24, 2021.

Genre: 

Peter Straub on Character and Story

Caption: 

“There’s something in people that is naturally story-like. You’re taking all this unformed, chaotic stuff and making sense of it.” Award-winning novelist and poet Peter Straub speaks about creating characters and his love of writing horror stories in this 2012 Open Road Media interview. Straub, who received the 2008 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award for his generosity to the literary community, died at the age of seventy-nine on September 4, 2022.

Genre: 

James Longenbach at the James Merrill House

Caption: 

“As I often tell students: What other people call revision, I call writing,” says poet, critic, and professor James Longenbach about writing his books The Lyric Now (University of Chicago Press, 2020) and Forever (Norton, 2021) as a writer-in-residence in this 2021 installment of James Merrill House’s video series Studio 107. Longenbach died at the age of sixty-two on July 29, 2022.

Genre: 

Seamus Heaney on Human Chain

Caption: 

“Now the oil-fired heating boiler comes to life / Abruptly, drowsily, like the timed collapse / Of a sawn-down tree, I imagine them.” In this 2011 PBS NewsHour video, the late Seamus Heaney reads from and speaks about his final collection, Human Chain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). The Nobel Prize–winning poet died at the age of seventy-four on August 30, 2013.

Genre: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - in memoriam