Public Television Brings Poetry into Homes Nationwide with Poetry Everywhere, a Collection of 32 Short Poetry Films
CHICAGO — This April, Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor (www.poetryfoundation.org/poetryeverywhere and www.pbs.org/poetry) returns to public television and the Web with new poems and unique voices.
Produced by WGBH Boston and David Grubin Productions, in association with the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, the project offers 32 short poetry films during unannounced moments in the public television broadcast schedule. Through television and the Internet, viewers are granted an exclusive, front-row seat to the world’s greatest poetry festival.
The poetry films are freely available to all local public television stations and interweave with regular programming, airing unexpectedly. The Poetry Everywhere series employs a variety of dynamic production approaches, including poets reading their own work to the camera, animated interpretations of much-loved poems, and celebrities reading favorite poems. The project aims to reach a broad audience with the power of great poetry, and to increase poetry’s presence on television and the Web.
New this season is the Poetry Everywhere iPhone application. The app continues to serve the series’ objectives by expanding the audience for the art form and introducing a new way of experiencing great poetry. Through an easy-to-navigate media player, the app will offer selected videos from the project and provide moments of excitement and even revelation throughout the day.
According to WGBH executive producer Brigid Sullivan, “With Poetry Everywhere, our goal is to provide a new destination for poetry. It’s a wonderful gift if we can give television viewers a moment to slow down and think about a poem.”
David Grubin, the producer of the series, has always believed that “if poems became a part of our media landscape, as easily available as an e-mail or a text message or a television program, we would turn to them more often, and find the solace and wisdom, beauty, and delight for which we long.”
Building on Poetry Everywhere’s existing collection of 24 short poetry films, the project’s third year adds eight new poets reading their own works: Marilyn Chin, “The Floral Apron”; Toi Derricotte, “Blackbottom”; Martín Espada, “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper”; Seamus Heaney, “Blackberry Picking”; Maxine Kumin, “After Love”; W.S. Merwin, “Yesterday”; C.D. Wright, “Lake Echo, Dear”; and Daisy Zamora, “Mother’s Day.”
Anne Halsey, media director at the Poetry Foundation, notes, “One of the Poetry Foundation’s intentions is to encourage new readers of poetry by finding new avenues of delivering poetry to people. Through this emerging platform, we hope to reach a new audience with the works of some of our greatest living poets.”
Selections from Poetry Everywhere are also offered on iTunes U and YouTube for free downloading. The video content can be shared among individuals, colleges, educators, book groups, and poetry clubs.
Garrison Keillor returns to Poetry Everywhere as series narrator. Keillor’s enthusiasm for poetry is well documented, both as a regular feature on his public radio programs, A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac, and in his poetry anthologies, Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times. Keillor’s introductions to each of the poems and poets provide audiences with wonderful insights into each poet’s perspective.
Poetry Everywhere is a co-production of WGBH and David Grubin Productions, in association with the Poetry Foundation. David Grubin is the producer. WGBH’s Brigid Sullivan is executive producer. The poetry films of Philip Levine, Charles Simic, and Seamus Heaney were created by Leita Luchetti for the WGBH series Poetry Breaks. The series is distributed nationally by Boston-based American Public Television (APT).
Visitors to Poetry Everywhere on the Poetry Foundation’s website, www.poetryfoundation.org, will find the text of the featured poems as well as biographies and more work by the poets. In addition, selected poems are featured in a special educational collection on the Poetry Foundation website, which includes video, background essays, strategies for teaching the poems, and sample lesson plans.
The Poetry Everywhere website at www.pbs.org/poetry and the Poetry Foundation’s website also feature a collection of original animated interpretations of contemporary poems created by undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
For a full list of poems included in the Poetry Everywhere series or additional information on the program and partners, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org/poetryeverywhere.
About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org.
About WGBH Boston
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such celebrated national PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other award-winning primetime, lifestyle, and children’s series. Boston’s last remaining independent TV station, WGBH produces local TV productions (among them Greater Boston, Basic Black, and Maria Hinojosa One-on-One) that focus on the region’s diverse community, while WGBH 89.7 FM is Boston’s NPR Arts & Culture station, offering a rich menu of classical, jazz, blues, news programming, and more. WGBH is the leading producer of online content for www.pbs.org—one of the most-visited dot-org sites on the Internet—as well as a major producer for public radio and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. For its efforts, WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Oscars, Emmys, Peabodys, and duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards. Visit WGBH on the Web at www.wgbh.org.
About David Grubin Productions
David Grubin Productions has produced over 100 films on subjects ranging from history to art, from poetry to science. David Grubin—producer, director, writer, and cinematographer—has won every major award in his field, including two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University awards, three George Foster Peabody awards, five prizes from the Writer’s Guild, and 10 Emmys. David Grubin Productions has been widely acclaimed for its biographies of American presidents, which have set the standard for television biography; they include LBJ; FDR; TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt; Truman; and Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, all for American Experience on PBS. Other award-winning films include Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, The Secret Life of the Brain, The Mysterious Human Heart, The Jewish Americans, and The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Grubin’s most recent film, The Buddha, will premiere on PBS in April 2010.
About American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. In 2009, APT distributed 56 of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series, and classic movies, including Spain...on the road Again, Rick Steves’ Europe, Worldfocus, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia’s Italy, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Murdoch Mysteries, Doc Martin, Rosemary and Thyme, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Liza’s at the Palace. . . . and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create™—the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit www.APTonline.org.