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Classic Poems Turn Lyrical on Natalie Merchant's New Album

After a seven-year hiatus, singer and songwriter Natalie Merchant has just released a two-disc album titled Leave Your Sleep, a collection of 26 traditional poems set to original music. 6:17

NewsHour Poetry Series

The Poetry Series, featured on the PBS NewsHour and funded by the Poetry Foundation, engages a broader audience with poetry through a series of thoughtful, in-depth reports on contemporary poets and poetry.

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MORE VIDEOS FROM NewsHour Poetry Series


Poet remembers fallen friend James Foley
Daniel Johnson reads his poem “In the Absence of Sparrows” written during the 656-day captivity of his friend, journalist James Foley. Foley was murdered by the Islamic State . . .

After fatal gun accidents, children can find comfort in poetry
Poet Gregory Orr speaks of his own childhood tragedy.

Garrison Keillor on loving poetry ‘as clear statement’
NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown spoke with Garrison Keillor of “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Writer’s Almanac,” about the American Public Media . . .

Vijay Seshadri on seeing the big picture with poetry
Pulitzer-winning poet Vijay Seshadri finds inspiration all around him and fuses the fantastic with the everyday.

Encouraging poetry through community service
Graduate students encourage poetry through community service.

Remembering civil rights history, when ‘words meant everything’
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Jeffrey Brown travel from Mississippi to Alabama and examine the role of poetry in advancing the civil rights movement's message for justice and freedom.

Poetry exposes truth about public housing in the Bay Area
Three young poets team up with the Off/Page Project to reveal the housing crisis in Richmond, CA.

Poet Carolyn Forché gathers 500 years of violence and conflict in new anthology
The poets featured in Carolyn Forché’s anthology, Poetry of Witness, have endured extreme conditions: warfare, censorship, forced exile.

A look at the conflict in Syria through the eyes of a young poet
Syrian-American activist Amal Kassir uses slam poetry to fuel her cause.

Rafael Campo's student physicians embrace poetry to hone art of healing
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.

Bringing Persian Poetry to Western Readers
Scholar Dick Davis reflects on his journey to bring medieval Persian verse to the West.

Poet Billy Collins discusses humor, authenticity and Aimless Love
Billy Collins reflects on his collection Aimless Love and melding his personality with his poems.

Teen Poets Writing in a Troubled City
Detroit schools are turning their students into published poets with a little guidance from professional writers and a program called InsideOut.

Death of Kofi Awoonor in Nairobi Attack Is 'Great Loss' for Ghana and Poetry
Kwame Dawes honors the Ghanaian poet and diplomat.

Sharing Moments and Verse when Memory Fades
Poetry project helps dementia patients live in the moment

Prison Memories From Chinese Dissident Liao Yiwu
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 Adapts to Modern Life
Eliza Griswold, a journalist and poet, traveled to Afghanistan to learn more about daily life there through the modern exchange of poetry.
By Eliza Griswold

New Anthology Celebrates 'Ascent' of African-American Poets
For nearly four decades, Charles Henry Rowell has been a talent scout of sorts, looking for young and often ignored African-American artists. His mission is to identify, nurture, promote and . . .

Gretel Ehrlich Reflects on the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, Two Years Later
Poet and writer Gretel Ehrlich shares her reflections on the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.
By Gretel Ehrlich
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