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.
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.
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."
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
"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.