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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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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Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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In Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, which opens tonight in New York City, director Christopher Felver reveals the poet's true role as a catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. The documentary features one-on-one interviews with Ferlinghetti as well as appearances by Allen Ginsberg, Dennis Hopper, Dave Eggers, and others. For more opening dates, visit the First Run Features website.

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Wichita Vortex Sutra

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In 1966 Allen Ginsberg wrote the anti-war poem "Wichita Vortex Sutra" (composing it as he spoke into a recorder while travelling across the Midwest.) Twenty-two years later the poet met composer Philip Glass in a bookstore in New York City's East Village, a chance encounter that eventually led to a collaboration that yielded this piece, which is featured on Glass's 1990 album, Hydrogen Jukebox.

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