poetry

Stephen Burt
Alex Dakoulas

  Stephen Burt, “one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation” (The New York Times), will read from and discuss his new book, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them on Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m. in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with Mass Humanities and learn about the Earthcare Festival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts. The Festival—on September 9th, 10th, and 11th—marks the beginning of the newly created Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts.

Events during the Festival weekend will explore the human relationship to nature and will feature a series of in-depth talks by nationally known figures in forest ecology, sustainability, and environmental writing, as well as poetry readings, music, and a one-woman play.

We are joined by David Perkins, founder of the Hilltown Chautaqua, and by Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies, who will be participating in the Earthcare Festival.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers focusing on Hildegard von Bingen and sharing her "O viridissima virga" performed by the women’s section of Voices of Ascension.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begins a series of conversations about female composers.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with Connecticut Humanities to discuss why poetry is important in today's society. Does teaching poetry in our schools really matter in this era of STEM and standardized testing?

We are joined today by Scott Wands, Manager of Grants at Connecticut Humanities who manages Poetry Out Loud in Connecticut, and Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, home of the long running Sunken Garden Poetry Festival program.

  The Olana Partnership is presenting an illustrated lecture and book signing with acclaimed author Andrea Wulf at Hudson High School on Saturday, April 9 at 4pm. The event will be Wulf’s first East Coast stop on her United States and UK tour.

The Invention of Nature is Andrea Wulf’s newest her award winning biography that reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and how he created the way we understand nature today.

Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, he turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and inspired Frederic Church on numerous levels. Andrea Wulf joins us to talk about the book and her upcoming event.

  One hundred years after its first publication in August 1915, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget that it is, in fact, a poem.

Widely admired as the poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review, David Orr deftly illuminates the poem’s enduring greatness while revealing its mystifying contradictions, in The Road Not Taken: Finding America In The Poem Everyone Loves And Almost Everyone Gets Wrong.

Orr examines the poem’s cultural influence, its artistic complexity, and its historical journey from the margins of the First World War all the way to its place today as a true masterpiece of American literature.

deerbrookeditions.com

  Our dear friend and colleague, Paul Elisha, has died at the age of 92. Paul was an inspiration, a mentor and confidant. He was filled with wit, passion, integrity and an understanding of what made us better people. There was music and poetry which he dispensed with beauty and candor.

Paul had been a part of The Roundtable since its inception. He was a frequent commentator, he hosted our long-time "Performance Place" series, and would regularly interview noted poets for his "A Bard's Eye View" segment.

In remembrance of Paul we share two of these interviews. The first with William Jay Smith and the second with Djelloul Marbrook.

He’s being remembered as an Renaissance man. We’re honoring Paul Elisha today at WAMC — a  WWII veteran, poet, professional musician and longtime voice on these airwaves who died Sunday at 92 after suffering a stroke.

  Walt Whitman’s Drum-Taps: The Complete 1865 Edition is the first publication of Whitman’s original Civil War poetry collection since the bard himself published Drum-Taps over 150 years ago. Many of the poems in Drum-Taps eventually found their way into Leaves of Grass.

Lawrence Kramer is an English professor and musicologist at Fordham University and is especially interested in the sonic elements of Whitman’s poetry. He has set several of Whitman’s poems to music and has a unique perspective on this great American poet’s work as a result.

Prof. Kramer will be reading from and speaking about Drum-Taps at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY on Wednesday, August 5th.

  Basilica Screenings is a film series that presents an array of works from new and repertory narrative features, documentaries, experimental films – programmed by Basilica Hudson’s film curator, Aily Nash, and creative directors Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone.

Melissa joins us now along with artist, Jack Walls whose exhibition “Paintings, Et Cetera” will open in the back gallery at Basilica Hudson this Friday and be on display through August 1st.

Jack Walls has been a fixture of the New York creative scene since the early 1980s, working primarily in collage and painting. He is also a poet and will read from The Ebony Prick of the White Rose’s Thorn with musical accompaniment by Harbour to celebrate the exhibition opening this Thursday. The opening event will also include a screening of the 1989 short doc, Eye to Eye – a film about Robert Mapplethorpe – Wall’s longtime partner and fellow artist.

Melissa Auf der Maur and Jack Walls join us.

http://www.umass.edu/english/member/james-tate

A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and longtime English professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has died. James Tate was 71.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Yehuda Hanani speak with Alan Chartock about the Edgar Allan Poe and Maurice Ravel.

  This year’s month-long Berkshire Festival of Women Writers kicks of on Sunday, March 1st.

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers a collaborative, multi-venue event sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with many local partners, celebrated during March – which is of course Women’s History Month. This is the festivals Fifth Anniversary Season and includes an exciting line-up of readings, lectures, workshops, performances and screenings by women writers from the Berkshire region.

Dr. Jennifer Browdy is the Founding Director of the festival and she joins us.

  Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight.

    Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place.

In Brown Girl Dreaming she uses vivid poems to share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Matthew Akers

  Looking at Lemon: Transforming Life through Literature is a series of events focusing on the life and work of Lemon Andersen, a writer, performance artist, screen actor and Tony Award-winning poet.

Andersen is also a three-time felon who grew up in Brooklyn, the child of heroin addicted parents who died of AIDS before he was fifteen leaving Lemon an orphaned teenager fending for himself. A high school drop-out who spent years in jail and on probation, his attempts at rehabilitation faltered until he attended a poetry reading and found a sense of purpose in the art of words.

The series celebrates Lemon’s ability to find meaning in his life, discover healing in creative work and transform pain into art. He joins us in Studio A to tell us about his life and work. Also joining us, Kim Engel Assistant Director of the UAlbany Performing Arts Center.

youtube / KTN Kenya

The world is mourning the death in Broome County of a prominent African scholar who had ties to New York's State University system.

Kenyan-born Professor Ali Mazrui died early Monday morning - the 81-year-old was an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations, as well as professor and director of the Center for Global Cultural Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton.

  

  With a poet’s eye and naturalist’s affinity for wild places, Kathleen Jamie reports from the field in a collection of fourteen essays in her book, Sightlines, which has won the 2014 Orion Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Jamie roams her native Scottish byways and hills and sails north to encounter whalebones and icebergs. Interweaving personal history with her scrutiny of landscape, she dissects whatever her gaze falls upon from vistas of cells beneath a hospital microscope, to orcas rounding a headland, to the aurora borealis lighting up the frozen sea.

    

  The Sandisfield Players are presenting a production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. It features a cameo performance by Simon Winchester and narration by Benjamin Luxon.

This is a rare opportunity to hear the poetry and humor of Thomas’ wonderful creation, Under Milk Wood. The play spans one entire day and a dreaming night in the life of a small Welsh seaside town through a series of lyric adventures, each with its own cast of eccentric and sometimes bawdy characters.

Commissioned in 1953 by the BBC it was finished only a month before Dylan Thomas’ death at age 39.

Benjamin Luxon is the narrator and director. In the 1970’s and 80’s, Luxon was one of the most versatile and gifted operatic Baritones singing all over the world, and in almost every genre of music. But Luxon’s career was cut short by acute hearing loss. Now instead of Opera, it’s the spoken word.

"Venera" By Jay Rogoff

Apr 21, 2014

    

  Jay Rogoff has taught at Skidmore College since 1995; first in the former Liberal Studies Program, and since 2001 in the English Department, where he teaches courses in poetry, poetry writing, nonfiction writing, arts reviewing and criticism, Shakespeare, and twentieth century poetry.

His new poetry collection is Venera. It is Rogoff’s fifth book. In it, a husband consoles his wife when she is wakened by an imaginary child; another man daydreams of his kindergarten crush. Mary at the Annunciation, stunned by Gabriel’s inhuman beauty, contemplates her decades of purity stretching ahead.

Drawing on the natural world, personal intimacy, and the imagination as evoked in visual art and biblical narrative, Rogoff’s poems detail our drive to both acts of veneration and submission to Venus’s sensuous power.

Flickr/chillihead

April is National Poetry Month, and today we’ll celebrate the likes of Whitman, Frost, and Ginsberg by welcoming readings of your favorite poems and recollections of how you discovered and fell in love with those words.

      In His Day is Done, Maya Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.

Maya Angelou joins us to discuss the poem and the loss of a man she feels fortunate to have called a friend.

    Two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins has put together his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years.

Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books - Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.

Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience.

Made in the Berkshires

Oct 9, 2013

Curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims, Made in the Berkshires is a locally-grown festival of new works including theatre, film, dance, poetry, music, short stories, performance and visual art.  

The 2013 Made in the Berkshires Festival being held from October 11 to October 13 at The Colonial Theatre, The Garage, and The Unicorn Theatre. Hilary and Barbara join us to tell us more.

What does the phrase:”National Destiny,” truly mean?  Too often, the impassioned palaver of politicians simply get it wrong.  Here, where the spirit of the self-proclaimed destiny of unified accomplishment became the gargantuan model of every free individual’s dream, we have created ‘Nervana-Run-Amock.’  The result has been the ‘Malling’ of America, with ‘Big-Box’ outlets and Strip-Malls covering every vestige  of green that Nature has grown.  This evolution has been accompanied by the corrosion of a nationwide network of infrastructure, unmatched in any other populous expanse.  This is the burden with which our ‘National Destiny’ of material acquisition has endowed us.  Now our problem is: What to do about it?

    The Sixth Annual Mount Tremper Arts Festival presents adventurous artists, intimate audience experiences and unique “Art-B-Qs,” - all nestled in the Catskill Mountains.

The festival features 11 weeks of programming where art can be a radical adventure and audiences, along with artists, can have a relaxing environment for nourishing their shared curiosity.

Here now to tell us more are Mount Tremper Arts Artistic Director Mathew Pokoik and Aynsley Vandenbroucke.

    

  Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks. 

List after the break.

Flickr/chillihead

April is National Poetry Month, and today we’ll celebrate the likes of Whitman, Frost, and Ginsberg by welcoming readings of your favorite poems and recollections of how you discovered and fell in love with those words. 

Today in studio we welcome our very own Paul Elisha and poet Sarah Weist who will be reciting some of their poetry favorites. We will also be joined via telephone by Stu Bartow and a special guest poet. We welcome your favorites as well. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

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