Sharon Olds's New Collection Chronicles the End of a Marriage

Sharon Olds shares work from her latest collection of poetry, Stag's Leap. Olds also talks about her partner's New Hampshire nature retreat where she spends her days, about finding her poetic voice in her 30s, and the "usefulness" of poetry. 4:01

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 Lawrence Ferlinghetti laments changing San Francisco
Ninety-six-year-old Lawrence Ferlinghetti settled in San Francisco in the 1950s, where he opened the City Lights bookshop and publishing house.

Say what? Half the world’s languages will vanish by the end of the century
There are over 6,000 languages spoken around the world today. But by the end of this century, fewer than half of them will remain.

Using poetry to uncover the moments that lead to racism
Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine says that the small moments that carve gaps of misunderstanding between Americans lead to big, national moments of misunderstanding, like events in Ferguson . . .

Storymoja festival celebrates flourishing African literature
In September, writers and readers gathered at Storymoja, an annual literary festival in Africa. It was also a time to remember Ghanaian poet Kofi Awooner. Jeffrey Brown reports on new voices . . .

Poet finds solace in elegy of departed son’s wild energy
When Edward Hirsch lost his son to a drug-related cardiac arrest, the poet began collecting his memories. Jeffrey Brown spoke with Hirsch near his home in New York.

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.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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