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.
Jane Kenyon (1947–1995), a poet from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who spent much of her life on a New England farm, was known for her quiet verse and the influence of nature on her work. Kenyon, whose collections include From Room to Room (Alice James Books, 1978), The Boat of Quiet Hours (Graywolf Press, 1986), Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990), and Constance (Graywolf Press, 1993), died of leukemia on this day fifteen years ago.
Melissa Errico, who studied drama at Yale and Oxford, has appeared in Broadway productions of Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, Dracula, and White Christmas, among others. She has also recorded albums of her singing, Blue Like That and Lullabies and Wildflowers, as well as the forthcoming The Summer Knows.
"Otherwise" by Jane Kenyon, 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 Add your recommendations for first-time poets on the back pages, and while you’re at it, paste in your own polished, unpublished work or that of others you admire.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.