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Artists Look Back
Reflecting on 9/11 in Word, Song and Visual Form

Sept. 11, 2002 -- As part of its coverage of the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, NPR invited a range of artists -- actors, poets, musicians, visual artists -- to talk about works they've created in response to the tragedy. The following is a sample.

audio iconLiam Neeson, actor
Liam Neeson

"...I cannot isolate that date from my early years of coming of age in war-torn Northern Ireland, where murder, mayhem, hatred, injustice and not a little fear were everyday occurrences..." -- reading from his entry in the book New York September Eleven Two Thousand and One

audio iconVern Rutsala, poet

"We edge toward the lives inside just before the crash then wince away..." -- reading his poem "It Keeps Happening," from the anthology September 11: West Coast Writers Approach Ground Zero

audio iconBeth Baldwin, theater prop maker
quilt

"Ultimately we don't know who received our quilt, but it felt nice to make something and then give it away." -- discussing an employee project at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., to create a quilt for a family of a World Trade Center victim

audio iconDiana Abu-Jaber, writer

"...The flier called for a rounding up of all Arabs. He hadn't realized I was one of the ones he wanted rounded up..." -- reading an excerpt from her entry, "On Recognition and Nation," in the anthology September 11: West Coast Writers Approach Ground Zero

audio iconMatthew Modine, actor
Matthew Modine

"Breathing deep, the lungs fill up with souls floating..." -- reading from his poem, "Breathe" in the book New York September Eleven Two Thousand and One

audio iconRichard Dreyfus, actor

"We have stolen something of incalculable value from our children that will never be recovered, as invisible as it may be..." -- reading from his entry in the book New York September Eleven Two Thousand and One

audio iconLucy Kaplansky, singer/songwriter
Lucy Kaplansky

"Thank you in a child's scrawl, taped to the Third Street firehouse wall..." -- performing "Land of the Living" on CBS' The Early Show

audio iconShira Dentz, poet

"On the third day, gone the smoke to breathe from, gone the black funnel to a hovering like a swarm." -- reading her poem, "Blue Skies"

audio iconSuzzy Roche, musician
Suzzy Roche

"Can we push the clouds of fear apart and rest our sadness on thy heart?" -- singing "New York City," with her sister, Maggie Roche, from the album Zero Church

audio iconMiranda Beeson, poet

"Where had he come from? A pet store in the shadow of the towers? A tiny door unlatched by the blasts?" -- reading her poem, "Flight," from the book Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets

audio iconChristopher Brown, car artist
'We Will Never Forget' is one of the messages scrawled on the rear window of Christopher Brown's 'art car'

"People wrote all over the car. They wrote 'God bless America' and 'give peace a chance.'" -- describing what happened when he left his 1985 Chevy Celebrity parked near New York City's Union Square, urging passers-by to scrawl messages on the vehicle days after Sept. 11, 2001





   
   
   
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