Rachel Eliza Griffiths on Mule & Pear

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“I pulled down a book by Gayl Jones, Eva’s Man, and I sat down and didn’t get back up until I finished it—and I felt so haunted,” says Rachel Eliza Griffiths about what inspired her third poetry collection, Mule & Pear (New Issues Press, 2011), in this conversation at the 2013 Poets Forum for the Academy of American Poets.

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Forrest Gander Reads “Wasteland: on the California Wildfires”

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“Green spring grass on / the hills had cured / by June and by July,” reads Forrest Gander from his poem “Wasteland: on the California Wildfires” for Dear Poet, the Academy of American Poets’ educational project for National Poetry Month.

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Patricia Spears Jones

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“Don’t be afraid— / Someone has walked this way before / All the world’s music in her hands.” Patricia Spears Jones reads “Discovering America Again” by Lorenzo Thomas, her own poem “The Birth of Rhythm and Blues,” and talks about what it means to be a literary citizen. This video, part of the P.O.P. series, was shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Spears Jones is the eleventh winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize.

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Praise Song for the Day

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“Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.” In this video for “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community,” a project developed by the Academy of American Poets in partnership with EDSITEment, Elizabeth Alexander reads “Praise Song for the Day,” a poem commissioned for the first inauguration of president Barack Obama.

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Anne Marie Macari Reads for P.O.P.

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“Restless, I want to return and stand at the mouth where wild fig trees grow,” reads Anne Marie Macari in this installment of the P.O.P. series, shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Macari’s poetry collection Heaven Beneath (Persea Books, 2020) is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Books Noted Live: Kazim Ali and Joshua Bennett

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“So how do you discern a shape for / What is often called g-d.” Kazim Ali reads from his latest collection, The Voice of Sheila Chandra (Alice James Books, 2020), in this Academy of American Poets virtual reading and conversation with Joshua Bennett, author of Owed (Penguin Poets, 2020). For more from these poets, read what motivates Ali’s writing in Writers Recommend and about Bennett’s writing process in Ten Questions.

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Remember

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“Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you. / Remember language comes from this.”​ In this video from the Academy of American Poets, Joy Harjo reads her poem “Remember” from her 1983 collection, She Had Some Horses. Harjo has been appointed to serve a second term as poet laureate of the United States and is the first Native American to hold the post.

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