Theater video tags: Academy of American Poets

Summer Morning

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“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.

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Charles Simic on His Writing Process

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Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic discusses his writing process of using various writing instruments—including envelopes, notebooks, and printed paper—in this brief interview for Poetry Breaks, a series created by Leita Luchetti in the 1980s and 1990s presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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The Civic Responsibility of the Poet

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“I love the deep attribute of poetry to pause, to look, to listen, to respect, to pay attention to variety and learn something new.” Naomi Shihab Nye, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Jane Hirschfield discuss poetry and the poet’s role in America at the 2015 National Book Festival in this video from the Academy of American Poets.

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Lucille Clifton on Poetry

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“For me, poetry is a way of living in the world.” In this vintage video from the Poetry Breaks series, Lucille Clifton reflects on what poetry means to her and how it is not about answers, but rather questions. The Academy of American Poets has partnered with Leita Luchetti, who produced and directed the series in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to bring back these videos.

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The Blaney Lecture: Paisley Rekdal

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“With regard to war, I can’t help being suspicious of the very reasons we turn to poetry at all,” reads Paisley Rekdal from “Beyond Empathy, Beyond the Archive: Notes on Poetic Representation” for the 2022 Blaney Lecture, an annual lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics created by the Academy of American Poets. “Is our desire one of representation, political change, or emotional catharsis? And is that political change meant to happen on the page, or off it?”

Li-Young Lee Reads “From Blossoms”

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“There are days we live / as if death were nowhere / in the background from joy / to joy to joy, from wing to wing,” reads Li-Young Lee from his poem “From Blossoms,” included in his debut collection, Rose (BOA Editions, 1986), for this installment of Poetry Breaks, a series created by Leita Luchetti in the 1980s and 1990s presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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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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