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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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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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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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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Eating Together

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“Then he lay down / to sleep like a snow-covered road / winding through pines older than him, / without any travelers, and lonely for no one.” Li-Young Lee reads his poem “Eating Together” for the Poetry Breaks series, videos filmed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Leita Luchetti and brought back with the help of the Academy of American Poets.

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