In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we're posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License, a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screen reading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. From Shakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, the lineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Western canon.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980), a native New Yorker who in her work and life acted against sociopolitical injustices in the United States and abroad, published more than thirty books of poetry, prose, and plays. Her poetry collections include Elegies (New Directions, 1949), Body of Waking (Harper, 1948), Breaking Open (Random House, 1973), The Gates (McGraw Hill, 1976), and Theory of Flight, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize in 1935.
Francesca Faridany, who appeared most recently on Broadway in The 39 Steps, has played in classical theater productions such as Molière's Don Juan and Fraülein Else, which the actress adapted for stage from the 1924 novella by Arthur Schnitzler.
"Myth" by Muriel Rukeyser, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.
Spread the word about debut poets and their work with this Pass-Along Poems chapbook. Print, assemble, and bind several handcrafted, saddle-stitched editions. Add your recommendations for first-time poets on the back pages, and while you’re at it, paste in your own polished, unpublished work or that of others you admire.
Need a dose of inspiration for your writing routine this April? Take our Poetry Challenge and try out a new writing prompt or poetry-related assignment every day during National Poetry Month.
The video poem may be ushering a whole new demographic to poetry. Here are six that have been made available to a wide audience on YouTube.