Essay

Poetry in America Television Series

This new series features conversations with prominent celebrities about poetry close to their hearts.
By The Editors

Poetry in America, created and directed by Harvard professor Elisa New, is a new public television series and multi-platform digital initiative that brings poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world. The public television series, presented by WGBH Boston and distributed by American Public Television, is being broadcast nationwide. The series follows Allen Ginsberg to San Francisco, Gwendolyn Brooks to the South Side of Chicago, and Emily Dickinson to Amherst. Along the way, distinguished guests—including scientists and Supreme Court justices, playwrights and journalists, athletes and songwriters, and poets and painters—join viewers to reflect on essential works of the American literary imagination.

Every half-hour episode—filmed on location in a rich documentary style—offers the viewer a fully immersive experience in hearing, reading, and interpreting a single American poem. You can watch episodes on the Poetry in America website, or stream them for free for a limited time on Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chrome Cast, Fire TV, iOS, Roku, Samsung TV, and tvOS.

Guests on the television series include Bill Clinton, Nas, Joe Biden, Katie Couric, Tony Kushner, Frank Gehry, Shaquille O’Neal, Al Gore, John Lithgow, Bono, Yo-Yo Ma, and Regina Spektor. The Poetry in America website features individual pages devoted to each episode, where visitors can read the poems and find further information and resources.

The Poetry Foundation is a partner with Poetry in America. You can also visit our page about Elisa New’s online poetry course.

Originally Published: May 15th, 2018