NewsHour Poetry Series | PBS NewsHour Podcast | PBS show

NewsHour Poetry Series | PBS NewsHour Podcast | PBS

Summary: A special NewsHour series that couples profiles of contempory poets with reports on news and trends in the world of poetry.

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  • Artist: PBS NewsHour
  • Copyright: Copyright ©2014 MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. All Rights Reserved.


 Rafael Campo's student physicians embrace poetry to hone art of healing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 07:28

Doctor and poet Rafael Campo thinks medical school distances doctor and patient at the cost of human understanding. A possible cure? He uses poetry to help close the gap. Jeffrey Brown and Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey continue to seek "Where Poetry Lives" by visiting Campo's reading and writing workshop for medical students.

 Scholar reflects on poetic odyssey to bring medieval Persian verse to the West | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:00

The works of 14th century Persian poet Hafez are iconic in Iran. Poet and scholar Dick Davis has spent years bringing the medieval writer's words to the West. Jeffrey Brown talks to Davis about his experiences with Persian culture, the challenges of translating and his new book, "Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz."

 Poet Billy Collins discusses humor, authenticity and 'Aimless Love' | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:43

"I knew that poets seemed to be miserable," says writer Billy Collins about his younger self, yearning to fit in. While he admits he "faked a miserable character" at the start of his career, he's since embraced his sense of humor. Jeffrey Brown talks to Collins about his new collection, "Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems."

 Young Detroiters unlock their inner poets, claim authorship of their experiences | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 08:20

Detroit schools are turning their students into published poets with a little guidance from professional writers and a program called InsideOut. Jeffrey Brown reflects with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey about visiting the Motor City middle-schoolers and the "sense of power" she witnessed as they found their voices.

 Death of Kofi Awoonor in Nairobi Attack Is 'Great Loss' for Ghana and Poetry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:10

Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet, diplomat and academic, was among the victims murdered in a terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi. Awoonor's nephew Kwame Dawes, another renowned poet, was traveling with his uncle to attend a literary festival in Kenya when he was killed. Dawes joins Jeffrey Brown to honor his legacy.

 Poetry Project Helps Dementia Patients Live in the Moment | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 08:24

In our new series, "Where Poetry Lives," Natasha Trethewey, poet laureate of the United States, and Jeffrey Brown spends time at the Alzheimer's Poetry Project in Brooklyn. The international program works with people with dementia to try to trigger memory by playfully engaging with language.

 Liao Yiwu Howls Against the Chinese Government, Offers Memories of Prison | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:16

After the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, poet Liao Yiwu responded in anger and sadness with a powerful poem that become popular among activists. But his verse led to his imprisonment. Jeffrey Brown talks to the poet about his work and time in prison, recounted in his new memoir, "For a Song and a Hundred Songs."

 Ancient Afghan Poetry Form Adapts to Tell Story of Modern Life and Conflict | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:30

For centuries, Pashtun women have traded stories, feelings and life wisdom in the form of two-line oral poems called landays. Eliza Griswold, a journalist and poet herself, traveled to Afghanistan to learn more about daily life there through the modern exchange of poetry. Jeffrey Brown takes a closer look at Griswold's project.

 New Anthology Celebrates 'Ascent' of African-American Poets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 05:02

Jeffrey Brown talks with longtime literary editor Charles Henry Rowell about his passion for promoting undiscovered and underappreciated African-American poets and artists. His latest effort is a new anthology called "Angles of Ascent."

 Poet Gerald Stern Looks Back on a Career Spent Reading and Writing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 05:14

Jeffrey Brown talks with Gerald Stern, one of America's most acclaimed poets. At 87, Stern received the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress for his collection, "Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992." Stern reflects on his working class upbringing and 70 years of writing verse.

 A Writer Reflects on the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, Two Years Later | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 05:32

Poet and writer Gretel Ehrlich shares her reflections on the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, where she traveled to document the physical and emotional aftermath. Best known for her nature and travel writing, Ehrlich has authored 13 books, including three of poetry.

 Poet David Ferry on Writing Verse, Reading Poems, Winning Awards at 88 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 05:17

Jeffrey Brown profiles David Ferry, a poet concerned with making connections to classical literature. Ferry was recently honored with the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize as well as the National Book Award for poetry. At age 88, he is currently tackling a translation of Virgil's "Aeneid."

 Inauguration Poet Richard Blanco Hopes to Offer Words of Unity, Belonging | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 06:44

Jeffrey Brown talks with Richard Blanco, the poet chosen to read at President Obama's second swearing-in, about what it means to be a part of the festivities. Blanco, a Spanish born Cuban-American, is the first Latino, openly gay, as well as the youngest poet to ever at a presidential inauguration.

 Greek Poets Muse Austerity Measures: 'We'll Hawk the Parthenon to Buy Our Bread' | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 08:00

We examine the Greek economic crisis from a different angle -- from the perspective of poets, and through the prism of history, modern and ancient. Jeffrey Brown talks to poet and classicist A.E. Stallings, a resident of Athens for more than a decade, and poet Titos Patrikios, who has seen other dark times in Greek history.

 100 Years, 100 Poems: Celebrating the Centennial for Poetry Magazine | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 07:56

"Print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre or approach." Those were the ambitious words written 100 years ago by Harriet Monroe when she founded Poetry, now the oldest monthly journal devoted to verse. Jeffrey Brown speaks with the magazine's editor, poet Christian Wiman, about a new anniversary collection.


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