Gather in Poems: A Virtual Reading
"The Academy of American Poets was honored to present Gather in Poems: A Virtual Reading on Tuesday, November 24, at 7:30 pm EST, which reflected on how sharing poems can create a sense of community, especially at a time when so many must be apart. This reading was free and open to the public, with presentations by award-winning poets, including U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, National Book Award-winner Arthur Sze, and Kingsley Tufts Poetry-winner Patricia Smith."
You can play the entire presentation at Poets.org and also sign up for their Poem-A-Day emails.
Here is one of the featured poems, which was read by Rafael Campo. The poem is part of the collection that won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2000:
Lucille Clifton - 1936-2010
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
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Where Did Poetry Come From
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or learning how to write
or forgetting how to write and starting over
or arguing about poetry
whether alone or with others or attempting to come up with a valid general definition of poetry
"Surface noise as the thick stylus hits the edge of the 78. Like surf sloshing against a pier.
Painting of a harbor at night. Painting of a woman singing. They come from the past. The record comes from the past.
"A voice in the cold dark, its sound the only warmth, penetrating all the space around it.
Geoffrey O'Brien, born in New York City, has published nine collections of poetry, among them FLOATING CITY (Talisman House, Publishers, 1996), A View of Buildings and Water (2002), Early Autumn (2010), IN A MIST (Shearsman Books, 2013), THE BLUE HILL (Marsh Hawk Press, 2018), and WHO GOES THERE (Dos Madres Press, 2020). He is also the author of prose works including Hardboiled America (1981), Dream Time: Chapters from the Sixties (1988), The Phantom Empire (1993), The Browser's Ecstasy (2000), Sonata for Jukebox (2004), The Fall of the House of Walworth (2010), and WHERE DID POETRY COME FROM (Marsh Hawk Press, 2020). His writings on film, music, theater, and poetry have appeared frequently in The New York Review of Books, Film Comment, BookForum, and other publications. He worked as editor at The Library of America for 25 years, retiring as editor in chief in 2017. He lives in Brooklyn.