November 30, 2013 A new collection of Dickinson's poems — written on envelopes and found after her death — opens a rare porthole into the enigmatic writer's life and art. Literally and figuratively shaped by their unusual medium, the poems in The Gorgeous Nothings invite endless interpretations.
November 6, 2013 For one year, on her daily walks, poet Harryette Mullen observed the collision of the natural world with the man-made environs of Los Angeles. She translated her impressions into a series of tankas, 31-syllable poems in the Japanese tradition. The resulting collection is called Urban Tumbleweed: Notes From a Tanka Diary.
Cover of New and Selected Poems by David Lehman.
Courtesy of Scribner
November 2, 2013 Best American Poetry editor David Lehman has spent decades writing, reading, reviewing and anthologizing massive quantities of American poetry. But his latest project, compiling a retrospective collection of his own work, was new for him. He tells NPR that all his editorial experience wasn't terribly useful when it was time for self-curation.
November 1, 2013 We've invited Billy Collins — who served as U.S. poet laureate from 2001 to 2003 — to play a game called, "I can feel it coming in the air tonight." Three questions about another poetic Collins.
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October 29, 2013 Nikki Giovanni is one of the most celebrated living poets, known for beautiful descriptions of family, friends, politics and even food. Host Michel Martin talks with Giovanni about her "truth telling" and some of the surprises in her latest collection, Chasing Utopia.
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October 25, 2013 At first glance, poet Tess Taylor was skeptical of Brenda Hillman's 17-year, four-book series of poems on the elements. But Taylor fell for the strange and spiraling verses in Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. "I commend you to this lively, defiant, blazing book," she says.
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American-born British poet and playwright T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Chris Bacon/AFP/Getty Images
September 28, 2013 This year marks the 125th birthday of Nobel Prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot. To celebrate, a re-issue of the first edition of his seminal poem has just been published, with an introduction by New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Muldoon about the poem's lasting influence.
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Garrison Keillor has been the host of A Prairie Home Companion since it began nearly four decades ago. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.
Courtesy of Grove Press
September 28, 2013 The host of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac has published his first poetry collection called O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic and Profound. "I love rhymes," Keillor says. "I love to write a poem about New York and rhyme 'oysters' with 'The Cloisters.' "
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Poet Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1995, is seen here in a file photo from 1991, when he was a professor at Harvard. Heaney has died at age 74.
August 30, 2013 The Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney died this morning in Dublin at the age of 74. In a remembrance, poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher writes that Heaney had mastered sound and nuance, crafting poems you can taste and feel, alive and powerful, as you speak them aloud.
Robert Pinsky served as the United States Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000.
August 6, 2013 Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky says he's tired of people thinking of poetry as bad-tasting medicine they have to swallow just because it's healthy. His anthology of 80 poems by master poets is designed to help us see poetry as an art "rather than a challenge to say smart things."
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June 7, 2013 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.
May 2, 2013 Caroline Kennedy isn't just an advocate for reading poetry. In her latest book, Poems to Learn by Heart, Kennedy stresses the importance of memorizing poetry and presents a collection of poems that she believes kids and adults alike should internalize.
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars in 2007, when it was just 55 million miles away.
May 2, 2013 NASA is looking for three haiku to include on a DVD that will travel to Mars aboard a spacecraft this fall. And everyone who submits a poem will have their name included.
April 30, 2013 As National Poetry Month comes to a close, cartoonist Francesco Marciuliano sketches his way through three centuries of cat-loving poets from Christopher Smart's sacred mouser to Margaret Atwood's yellow-eyed feline companion.
Monica Youn, who joined NPR as a NewsPoet last year, works as a lawyer. She says that poetry appears in law more often than you might think — but nobody calls it poetry.
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.
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