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Poetry

How Has Poetry Impacted Your Life?

During a presentation delivered at TED Global 2013, English professor Stephen Burt publicly declares himself to be a “word person” and a fan of poems.

In the video embedded above, Burt shares some of his thoughts on “Why People Need Poetry.” He also recites pieces by A.E. HousmanWallace Stevens, and John Keats.

Every year during the month of April, the country comes together to celebrate National Poetry Month. How has poetry impacted your life?

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Christine Heppermann: ‘Read with inflection and emotion but not affectation.’

Christine HeppermannHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we spoke with poets about working in this digital age. To end our month-long celebration, we interviewed writer Christine Heppermann.

Heppermann (pictured, via) worked as a columnist and reviewer for The Horn Book from 1996 until 2013. In addition to poetry, she also writes nonfiction and fiction for young readers. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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4th Annual NYC Poetry Festival on Kickstarter

The Poetry Society of New York hopes to raise $10,000 for the 4th Annual New York City Poetry Festival. The organizers will use the money to host a 2-day event on Governor’s Island.

Some of the poets who have signed on to appear at this event include Paul Muldoon, Mark Doty, and Joyelle McSweeney. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“This year we will welcome back more than 50 New York City poetry groups, including venerable institutions, upstarts, small presses, local reading series, literary journals, high school poetry teams, and more to The Festival’s three stages. If year’s past are any indication, over 250 poets will present and wow those gathered with their moment at the mic.”

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Poetry on the TED Stage

ted logoAs we end our National Poetry Month celebration, we’ve collected three TED videos on poetry.

The list features poets who have given poetic performances on the TED stage. This trio includes Project V.O.I.C.E. founder Sarah Kay, award-winning poet Malcolm London, and author Suheir Hammad.

For more recommendations, visit the TED blog and check out a post entitled “3 thoroughly slamming spoken word performances.” Which poets do you nominate to perform at future conferences?

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Tom Hiddleston Reads ‘Sonnet 18′ by William Shakespeare

As we prepare to bid farewell to National Poetry Month, we’ve uncovered a video featuring The Avengers actor Tom Hiddleston reading William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18.”

Hiddleston delivered this performance for “The Love Book” app. It features a collection of poems, short stories, quotes and letters. What’s your favorite love poem?

Michael J. Rosen: ‘Read poets from other countries, in other languages, if possible.’

Michael J RosenHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with writer Michael J. Rosen.

Throughout his writing career, Rosen (pictured, via) has authored more than a dozen books. Recently, he wrote two installments of a children’s book series that focuses on animal-themed haikus, The Cuckoo’s Haiku and The Hound Dog’s Haiku. Next Spring, Candlewick Press will release book three The Maine Coon’s Haiku. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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Clint Smith Uses Spoken Word Poem ‘Memoir’ For Activism

What are your thoughts on immigration reform?

Clint Smith, a poet and a high school English teacher, decided to express his opinion in a poem. The video embedded above features Smith delivering a performance of “Memoir.”

In a Q&A with Food Politic, Smith talked about his inspiration for this piece: “‘Memoir’ wasn’t something I thought about until I had a student that said, ‘It doesn’t matter if I have a 4.0 and 2400 on my SATs. I don’t have a social security number so I can’t go to school.’ My poetry is me trying to reconcile my own life and opportunities I’ve had with opportunities my students aren’t given and how profoundly unfair that is.” What do you think? (via UpWorthy)

Julie Andrews Reads Her Poem ‘Missing’

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of actress Julie Andrews performing a recitation of her poem, “Missing.” Andrews has collaborated with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, on several books including Dumpy the Dumptruck, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother and Child, and Very Fairy Princess.

The mother-daughter writing duo both served as narrators for the audiobook version of the Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. They won the 2011 Grammy Award in the “Best Spoken Word Album for Children” category. What’s your favorite poem?

‘To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter’ Poem Goes Viral

How would you treat the people who may become a love interest for your children? Jesse Parent penned a cautionary spoken-word poem entitled “To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter.”

The video embedded above features Parent performing his piece at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted it earlier this month and it has since attracted more than 840,000 views.

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David Lehman: ‘Enjoy being a poet. Take pleasure in the act of writing.’

LehmanHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with author David Lehman.

Lehman (pictured, via) has published several volumes of poetry including his most recent book, New and Selected Poems. He initiated The Best American Poetry series in 1988 and has continued to serve as the series editor. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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