Arts and Music

Poetry in America

In the second season of Poetry in America, guests join Elisa New for a lively and immersive discussion of the poems of Marilyn Chin, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Mark Doty, Yusef Komunyakaa, Stephen Sondheim, William Carlos Williams, and Walt Whitman. POETRY IN AMERICA premieredApril 4, 2020 (check local listings).

Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

26m 46s

In 1855 Walt Whitman declared “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” Join host Elisa New as Poetry in America celebrates the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, playwright Tony Kushner, poets Mark Doty and Marilyn Chin, and a chorus of National Student Poets, discussing Whitman’s powerful and timeless work.

Episodes

  • Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

    S2 E8 - 26m 46s

    In 1855 Walt Whitman declared “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” Join host Elisa New as Poetry in America celebrates the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, playwright Tony Kushner, poets Mark Doty and Marilyn Chin, and a chorus of National Student Poets, discussing Whitman’s powerful and timeless work.

  • This Is Just to Say, by William Carlos Williams: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Is Just to Say, by William Carlos Williams

    S2 E7 - 26m 49s

    Just 28 words and in the form of a refrigerator note, is “This is Just to Say” simply a short apology or something more subtle and passive-aggressive? Join actor John Hodgman, poet and physician Rafael Campo, poet Jane Hirshfield, a chorus of couples, and host Elisa New as they consider what may or may not lie beneath the surface of William Carlos Williams’s brief tribute to marital relations.

  • You and I Are Disappearing, by Yusef Komunyakaa: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    You and I Are Disappearing, by Yusef Komunyakaa

    S2 E6 - 27m 1s

    Yusef Komunyakaa went to Vietnam as a journalist but he came home a poet. This episode explores what burns in memory and on the page, even decades later. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, film and theatre director Julie Taymor, composer Elliot Goldenthal, Komunyakaa himself and a chorus of veterans discuss the mingled beauty and horror of war-- and the challenge of making art of it.

  • Finishing the Hat, by Stephen Sondheim: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Finishing the Hat, by Stephen Sondheim

    S2 E5 - 26m 46s

    Stephen Sondheim is widely hailed as the greatest modern American musical theater composer. Series creator Elisa New speaks with Broadway stage actors and writer Adam Gopnik to explore Sondheim’s singular ability to blend lyrics and music, using “Finishing the Hat,” from Sondheim’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Sunday in the Park with George", as their case study.

  • This Your Home Now, by Mark Doty: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Your Home Now, by Mark Doty

    S2 E4 - 26m 46s

    Series creator Elisa New talks with poet Mark Doty, psychologist Steven Pinker, choreographer Bill T. Jones, design maven Simon Doonan and designer Jonathan Adler about “This Your Home Now,” where a visit to the barber shop sparks a meditation on love, the AIDS crisis, and the satisfactions of getting older.

  • The Fish, by Marianne Moore: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Fish, by Marianne Moore

    S2 E3 - 26m 46s

    This environmental science-themed episode explores Moore’s great poem of marine life, titled "The Fish". Vice President Al Gore, poet Jorie Graham, and scientists from Conservation International dive into Moore’s portrayal of the ocean’s always-changing history, and its future in a warming world.

  • One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop

    S2 E2 - 26m 46s

    “The art of losing isn’t hard to master,” Bishop wrote in the poem, "One Art", universally considered one of her greatest. Journalist Katie Couric, media executives Sheryl Sandberg and Yang Lan, singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, poet Gregory Orr, and others discuss Bishop’s masterpiece on losses, great and small.

  • Urban Love Poem, by Marilyn Chin: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Urban Love Poem, by Marilyn Chin

    S2 E1 - 26m 46s

    The episode explores San Francisco's history from the Gold Rush and early Chinese immigration to the rise of Silicon Valley, through Marilyn Chin's "Urban Love Poem". In this series opener, host Elisa New brings together acclaimed memoirist Maxine Hong Kingston, tech investor Randy Komisar, and four Bay Area residents on a rooftop in Chinatown to discuss the love of a great city.

Schedule

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    Poetry in America

    I Cannot Dance Opon My Toes -- Emily Dickinson

    Friday
    Oct 22

    30 Minutes

    The challenges of art and audience across time, space and artistic medium; guests include Cynthia Nixon, Yo-Yo Ma, Jill Johnson and Marie Howe.
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    Poetry in America

    Fast Break -- Edward Hirsch

    Friday
    Oct 22

    30 Minutes

    Using basketball to understand poetry and poetry to understand basketball; with poet Edward Hirsch, Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol and Shane Battier.
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    Poetry in America

    I Cannot Dance Opon My Toes -- Emily Dickinson

    Saturday
    Oct 23

    30 Minutes

    The challenges of art and audience across time, space and artistic medium; guests include Cynthia Nixon, Yo-Yo Ma, Jill Johnson and Marie Howe.
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    Poetry in America

    Fast Break -- Edward Hirsch

    Saturday
    Oct 23

    30 Minutes

    Using basketball to understand poetry and poetry to understand basketball; with poet Edward Hirsch, Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol and Shane Battier.
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    Poetry in America

    Those Winter Sundays -- Robert Hayden

    Monday
    Oct 25

    30 Minutes

    Reflections on "Those Winter Days" by Robert Hayden; with Joe Biden, Elizabeth Alexander and Angela Duckworth.
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    Poetry in America

    Hymmnn and Hum Bom -- Allen Ginsberg

    Monday
    Oct 25

    30 Minutes

    Two emotional poems by Allen Ginsberg -- the "Hymmnn" from Kaddish and the anti-war "Hum Bom!"; with Bono and Juan Felipe Herrera.
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    Poetry in America

    Those Winter Sundays -- Robert Hayden

    Tuesday
    Oct 26

    30 Minutes

    Reflections on "Those Winter Days" by Robert Hayden; with Joe Biden, Elizabeth Alexander and Angela Duckworth.
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    Poetry in America

    Hymmnn and Hum Bom -- Allen Ginsberg

    Tuesday
    Oct 26

    30 Minutes

    Two emotional poems by Allen Ginsberg -- the "Hymmnn" from Kaddish and the anti-war "Hum Bom!"; with Bono and Juan Felipe Herrera.
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    Poetry in America

    Skyscraper -- Carl Sandburg

    Tuesday
    Oct 26

    30 Minutes

    The rise of the skyscraper and the emergence of the modernist poem; with Frank Gehry, Zhang Xin, poet Robert Polito and student poets from across the U.S.
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    Poetry in America

    Harlem -- Langston Hughes

    Tuesday
    Oct 26

    30 Minutes

    A discussion of "Harlem" by Langston Hughes; with Bill Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Sonia Sanchez and students from the Harlem Children's Zone.
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    Poetry in America

    Skyscraper -- Carl Sandburg

    Wednesday
    Oct 27

    30 Minutes

    The rise of the skyscraper and the emergence of the modernist poem; with Frank Gehry, Zhang Xin, poet Robert Polito and student poets from across the U.S.
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    Poetry in America: TVSS: Iconic

    Poetry in America

    Harlem -- Langston Hughes

    Wednesday
    Oct 27

    30 Minutes

    A discussion of "Harlem" by Langston Hughes; with Bill Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Sonia Sanchez and students from the Harlem Children's Zone.
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    Poetry in America

    Musee des Beaux Arts -- W.H. Auden

    Wednesday
    Oct 27

    30 Minutes

    W.H. Auden's World War II-era "Musee des Beaux Arts"; with Samantha Power, David Brooks and Peter Sacks.
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    Poetry in America

    Shirt -- Robert Pinsky

    Wednesday
    Oct 27

    30 Minutes

    Robert Pinsky offers his own reflections on his poem "Shirt"; with Johnson Hartig, Betty Halbreich and Stuart Weitzman.
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    Poetry in America

    Musee des Beaux Arts -- W.H. Auden

    Thursday
    Oct 28

    30 Minutes

    W.H. Auden's World War II-era "Musee des Beaux Arts"; with Samantha Power, David Brooks and Peter Sacks.
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    Poetry in America

    Shirt -- Robert Pinsky

    Thursday
    Oct 28

    30 Minutes

    Robert Pinsky offers his own reflections on his poem "Shirt"; with Johnson Hartig, Betty Halbreich and Stuart Weitzman.
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    Poetry in America

    To Prisoners -- Gwendolyn Brooks

    Thursday
    Oct 28

    30 Minutes

    Poetry's resonance for people in prison; with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Anna Deavere Smith, Reginald Dwayne Betts and Li-Young Lee.
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    Poetry in America

    The Grey Heron -- Galway Kinnell

    Thursday
    Oct 28

    30 Minutes

    A discussion of Galway Kinnell's "The Grey Heron" with E.O. Wilson, Robert Hass, Laura McPhee and Joel Wagner.
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    Poetry in America

    To Prisoners -- Gwendolyn Brooks

    Friday
    Oct 29

    30 Minutes

    Poetry's resonance for people in prison; with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Anna Deavere Smith, Reginald Dwayne Betts and Li-Young Lee.
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    Poetry in America: TVSS: Banner-L1

    Poetry in America

    The Grey Heron -- Galway Kinnell

    Friday
    Oct 29

    30 Minutes

    A discussion of Galway Kinnell's "The Grey Heron" with E.O. Wilson, Robert Hass, Laura McPhee and Joel Wagner.

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