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.
Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) wrote poetry in the off-hours while working at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in Connecticut. His books include the poetry collections The Auroras of Autumn (Knopf, 1950), Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction (Cummington Press, 1942), and Harmonium (Knopf, 1923), and the essay collection The Necessary Angel (Knopf, 1951).
Lauren Kennedy, a singer and actress, has played the Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot on Broadway and Nellie Forbush in the West End production of South Pacific, as well as roles in Les Miserables, Side Show, and Sunset Boulevard.
"The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm" by Wallace Stevens, 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 Add your recommendations for first-time poets on the back pages, and while you’re at it, paste in your own polished, unpublished work or that of others you admire.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.