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.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was a Massachusetts poet who spent most of her life in seclusion in Amherst. Although she was not recognized as a poet in her lifetime, Dickinson wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems, which were found after her death in hand-bound volumes. Her first collection was published in 1890.
Patti LuPone is a Tony Award–winning actress who has appeared on stages from Broadway to London's West End for nearly forty years. Known for creating the role of Eva Perone in Evita, LuPone most recently appeared in Broadway's Gypsy.
"Wild Nights! Wild Nights!" 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 Add your recommendations for first-time poets on the back pages, and while you’re at it, paste in your own polished, unpublished work or that of others you admire.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.