Critic Alan Cheuse believes that summer — with its long, hot, drowsy days — may be the best season for reading poetry. His recommendations include works by Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky and W.S. Merwin, and a novel in verse by the late essayist David Rakoff.
April 29, 2013 Great poetry almost never leads to great paychecks. Even award-winning poets need to pay the bills. Many teach, but others are doctors, scientists, lawyers, undertakers or even market analysts. In celebration of National Poetry Month, writer David Orr takes a look at the secret lives of poets.
April 27, 2013 April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with new books? This month brings us a reissue of Hayden, a retranslation of Dante, a gathering of estimable poems from the past quarter-century and a new collection with a camera-eye view of the world.
April 21, 2013 Nate Klug is a poet and candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ. "Poetry is a form where the language is under so much pressure," he says, "and that can really bring about wonderful surprises and insights in our ways of talking about God or thinking about our faith."
April 17, 2013 In honor of National Poetry Month, we've reached into our archives and pulled up 10 interviews with Poets Laureate. Hear current laureate Natasha Trethewey on Hurricane Katrina, Ted Kooser on his Valentine's Day poems, Robert Pinsky on the news, and more.
April 14, 2013 In celebration of National Poetry Month, Weekend Edition is asking young poets about what poetry means to them. This week, Harmony Holiday describes how poetry helped her "negotiate the language" of having a white mother and an African-American father.
April 6, 2013 April is famously the cruelest month — according to the poem — but it's also the month we celebrate poetry. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith says we all need poetry, and even those of us who don't write poems can still learn how to see and hear the world through poetry.
February 28, 2013 Brad Leithauser likes to look for poetry in graveyards. An author and poet himself, there's something he values greatly in tombstone epitaphs: brevity. In a piece for The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog, Leithauser cites tiny works that speak volumes.
February 28, 2013 Poets are not the world's most visible celebrities. But an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., puts faces to verse, and explores poets' shifting — and sometimes conflicting — public images.
February 18, 2013 Blanco, who read his poem "One Today" at Obama's second inauguration, is the first immigrant, Latino and openly gay poet chosen to read at an inauguration. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that while he was on the podium, "I really embraced America up there like I never had before."
February 16, 2013 A program that makes poems from our tweets / With rhyming lines and smooth iambic beats ... Ranjit Bhatnagar wrote a program to find tweets in iambic pentameter and retweet them in rhyming pairs. With NPR's Jacki Lyden, he shares some of the resulting couplets.
January 29, 2013 Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has donated a rare collection of Robert Frost's letters, photographs and audio files to the school. The materials chronicle the decades-long friendship between the poet and Reichert's father, rabbi and poet Victor Reichert.
January 24, 2013 The world is full of data — and that's a problem. We have to find a place to store all those digital photos, tax records and unfinished novels. British scientists have demonstrated a possible solution: They've stored all of Shakespeare's sonnets on several small stretches of DNA.
January 19, 2013 As poet Jean Sprackland told NPR's Scott Simon, a poem you learn by heart becomes a part of you. In that case, choosing what works to memorize is a big decision. We have 10 suggestions, based on the Poetry By Heart anthology; what would you recommend?
January 9, 2013 Blanco, a first-generation Cuban-American, says he identifies with the theme of the inauguration: Our People, Our Future. He is the fifth poet to take part in a U.S. presidential inauguration, and also the youngest. He says being selected was a "great honor."
January 7, 2013 2012 was the year of the big collected volume when it came to poetry. It was intimidating, even for the most hardened poetry fans. But critic Craig Morgan Teicher says 2013 will be full of slim collections that are still smart, important and powerful.