Video

Elizabeth Alexander Reflects on Inauguration Reading

Only a few poets have participated in the swearing-in ceremony for our nation's highest office, and on Jan. 20, Elizabeth Alexander will become just the fourth to hold that honor when she will recite an original poem at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. 08:53

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.

Learn more!

Visit teacher resources for NewsHour Poetry Series at
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/poetry/

BROWSE SERIES

MORE VIDEOS FROM NewsHour Poetry Series


The Genius of Poetry: a Profile of Heather McHugh
Heather McHugh, a poet who was named a MacArthur Fellow in September 2009, shares her perception of the craft. 5:21

Junk Man: Poet and Professor Albert Goldbarth
Poet and toy collector Albert Goldbarth is a two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. 04:43

Writer, Poet Jim Harrison Is a Determined “Outsider”
Most of Jim Harrison's books have been set in sparsely populated areas, including "Paradise Valley," where he now lives much of the year. 7:35

Bob Hicok Reflects on Economic Hardships in Michigan
The poetry of Michigan-born Bob Hicok addresses the economic hardships suffered in his home 4:36

Unlikely Laureate: A Conversation with Kay Ryan
Known for short, compact writing and for living a very quiet life, Kay Ryan has taken on a big and very public role as the nation's Poet Laureate. 8:26

Transcript of Lincoln Inspires Poem for 16th President
Poet and journalist Cynthia Zarin’s poem for Abraham Lincoln was inspired by a discovery in a shoebox. 02:40

Acclaimed American Author John Updike Dies at Age 76
Remembering John Updike, one of the most prolific and popular American authors of his generation. 11:11

The Electorate Process Inspires “Election Day” Poem
Following the historic 2008 presidential election, J.D. McClatchy, a professor, poet and critic, reads “Election Day,” a poem about voting. 02:18

Merwin’s Passion for Poetry and the Natural World
W.S. Merwin reads several of his poems and talks with Jeffrey Brown about memory, language, and his life as a poet and horticulturist. 03:02

Santa Fe Spoken Word Club Explores Indian Identity, History
The Spoken Word Club at the Santa Fe Indian School maintains links to native language and culture through verse. 06:31

Oregon Poet Laureate Inada Reflects on Internment
Lawson Inada shares poems about childhood experiences in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. 03:53

Poet Kwame Dawes Takes On HIV/AIDS in Jamaica
Kwame Dawes reads his poems and talks to correspondent Jeffrey Brown about HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica. 06:35

Pau-Llosa Discusses Latin American Art, Shares Poem
Poet and art critic Ricardo Pau-Llosa reads from his new collection, "Parable Hunter." 04:04

Poetry Program Gives Prisoners Unexpected Voice
For more than 30 years, poet and professor Richard Shelton has traveled to a high security prison in Arizona to run a program that encourages prisoners to write and read poetry. 09:14

Richey's Poetry Addresses Son's Role as a Soldier
The poems in Frances Richey's "The Warrior" are written to her son, who has served two tours in Iraq. 08:48

Robert Hass Reads From Prize-Winning Collection
The poet reads selections from "Time and Materials," the 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry book. 06:46

For Terrance Hayes, Pittsburgh and Poetry Are No Strangers
The poet discusses life in Pittsburgh, "where no one is a stranger," and shares some of his work. 08:01

Mary Jo Bang Examines Grief's Poetic Form, the Elegy
The poet shares two poems from her recent collection. 04:42

Charles Simic: From Belgrade to Poet Laureate
Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Poet Laureate Charles Simic has authored 18 books and won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer. Simic reflects on his craft. 08:57

From the Air to the Page: The Poetry of John Ashbery
Profile of one of the nation's most important contemporary writers. 08:14
2345

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.