Poetry News

Kenneth Goldsmith + Stephen Colbert = Happy Disaster

By Harriet Staff

Kenny Goldsmith

The always entertaining Kenneth Goldsmith, poet laureate at the Museum of Modern Art decked out in disarming pink and contrasting stripes, stopped by The Colbert Report last night to discuss his latest book: Seven American Deaths and Disasters.

The book explores the poetic qualities of the transcriptions from national television and radio broadcasts that aired during seven national disasters (the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson; the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Columbine school shootings, and the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center).

While the subject matter may sound macabre, Colbert lightens the mood as only he could by, quite impressively, reciting "Oh! Susanna," forcing us all to "put on a happy face!"

Watch the full video here.