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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The Blaney Lecture: Terrance Hayes

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“Would you agree it’s possible to be both enlightened and in the dark?” For the 2019 Blaney Lecture, an annual lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics created by the Academy of American Poets, Terrance Hayes presents “Survey of an American Century” and reflects on the last century of poetry at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House in New York.

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John Murillo

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John Murillo reads “Trouble Man,” a poem from his first collection, Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher Books, 2010), and a poem by Etheridge Knight for the P.O.P series, shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Murillo’s second collection, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020), is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Summer Solstice, New York City

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“Then they all came a little closer / where he squatted next to his death, his shirt / glowing its milky glow...” In this vintage video from the Poetry Breaks series, presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets, Sharon Olds reads her poem “Summer Solstice, New York City” at a Martha’s Vineyard retreat.

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