Poet Vision Video Series
Webcasts & Podcasts from the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress
View Video Cybercast (3 parts, 77 minutes)
Recorded March 17, 1988 at Central High School in Philadelphia, PA.
Lucille Clifton won the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry for her book Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2000). She has written 10 collections of poetry and 19 children's books. She and Dolores Kendrick participated in the 2001 National Book Festival at the Library o-f Congress. Photo by Michael Glaser.
View Video Cybercast (2 parts, 50 minutes)
Recorded January 26, 1989 at the Rohm and Haas Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Rita Dove reads her poems and discusses their sources with a small group of students. Ms. Dove, who was born in Akron, Ohio, was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993-1995. She is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She and her family live near Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo by Fred Viebahn
View Video Cybercast (6 parts, 54 minutes)
Recorded April 29, 1998 in New York City.
Allen Ginsberg discusses his work and the poets who influenced him, including Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams. Born in Newark, NJ in 1926, Ginsberg became a major figure in American poetry in the late 1950s after his book, Howl and Other Poems, was published. Photo by Robert Frank.
View Video Cybercast (4 parts, 66 minutes)
Recorded January 29, 1988 at the Rohm and Haas Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Louise Glück explains that she is a lyric poet who loves editing. After discussing writer's block and her early work, she reads in Part I from First Born (1983), The House on Marshland (1975), and Descending Figure (1980). In Part II, she continues with poems from Descending Figure and The Triumph of Achilles (1987).
View Video Cybercast (1 hour, 6 minutes)
Recorded April 28, 1989 at the Rohm and Hass Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Sam Hamill looks beyond the surface meaning of the words in this program. “What propels us through the poem is the emotion which gets expressed as rhythm,” he tells a small group of students. “Precise emotion and precise words are needed in poetry.” Hamill reads and discusses translations of ancient classical Asian poets.
View Video Cybercast (3 clips, 91 minutes)
Recorded February 24, 1989 at the Rohm and Hass Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Michael S. Harper, Professor of English at Brown University, is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Dear John, Dear Coltrane and Healing Song for the Inner Ear.
View Video Cybercast (3 parts, 1:15 minutes)
Etheridge Knight was born in 1931 in Corinth, Mississippi. His life led him to pool halls, underground poker games, and the army during the Korean War, then to drug addiction, robbery and in 1960 to the Indiana State Prison. There, he began to write extraordinary poetry, including some of the poems in this video program. Among his widely celebrated poems are "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane," "The Idea of Ancestry," and several hauntingly beautiful love poems. These poems, plus "Ilu, The Talking Drum" about African American experience are here included. Etheridge Knight died of lung cancer in 1991, after a distinguished career.
View Video Cybercast (3 parts, 70 minutes)
Stanley Kunitz, who occupied the Chair of Poetry at the Library from 1974 through 1976 as Consultant in Poetry (before the title was changed to “Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry” with the passage in 1985 of P.L. 99-194), was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1905.
View Video Cybercast (1 hour, 16 minutes)
Recorded May 27, 1988 at the Rohm and Hass Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
Denise Levertov (1923-1997) was born in Ilford, Essex, England. Educated entirely at home, she became a civilian nurse in World War II, serving in London throughout the bombings. Levertov emigrated to the United States in 1941.
View Video Cybercast (1 hour, 16 minutes)
Recorded March 4, 1988 in Fairfield, CT.
Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) became the first U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 1986. Born in Guthrie Kentucky, Mr. Warren attended Vanderbilt University where he studied with John Crowe Ransom and became associated with a group of poets known as the Fugitives and later with the Southern Agrarian poets.