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27. Fourth Season of Poetry Everywhere Debuts

Public television brings poetry into homes nationwide with a collection of 40 short poetry films

CHICAGO—The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce the debut of a new season of Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor. This April, the short poetry film series returns to public television and the Web with a broad spectrum of poetic voices. Produced by WGBH Boston and David Grubin Productions, in association with the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetrymagazine, the project offers 40 short poetry films during unexpected moments in the public television broadcast schedule.

Poetry Everywhere brings great poems, in gemlike productions, to the eyes, ears, and hearts of its viewers,” says Poetry Foundation president John Barr. “A poem at a time, it enriches our lives.”

Building on Poetry Everywhere’s existing collection of 32 short poetry films, the project’s fourth season on public television adds eight new poets reading their own works: Galway Kinnell, “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps”; Dorianne Laux, “Dust”; Joseph Millar, “American Wedding”; Kwame Dawes, “Tornado Child”; Matthew Dickman, “Slow Dance”; Kay Ryan, “Turtle”; Rita Dove, “American Smooth”; and Bob Hicok, “Calling him back from layoff.”

Once again, Garrison Keillor serves as series narrator. Keillor’s introductions to the poems and poets provide audiences with wonderful insights into each poet’s background. An enthusiastic supporter of poetry, he regularly features it on his public radio programs A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac,and in his poetry anthologies, Good Poems; Good Poems for Hard Times; and the forthcoming Good Poems, American Places(to be released in April).

“With Poetry Everywhere, our goal is to provide new platforms for poetry,” says WGBH’s Brigid Sullivan, series executive producer. “Whether our viewers seek out poems online, on public television, or through new classroom tools on Teachers’ Domain, our mission is to present these great works across a range of mediums and increase the overall accessibility of poetry to new audiences.”

David Grubin, the producer of the series, concurs. “Television, and now the Internet—pervasive mass cultural mediums—can make the voice of a single human being especially vivid,” Grubin says. “We are hoping that these poems will be a reason to pause in our busy lives, providing a moment for introspection, inspiration, even revelation.”

New online resources help bring Poetry Everywhere into the classroom
New to the project this season is the Poetry Everywherecollection on Teachers’ Domain (WGBH’s library of free media resources, available online at www.teachersdomain.org). Here, educators will find resources—such as short introductions and discussion questions—to bring the films into the classroom. The updated collection at Teachers’ Domain comprises 35 poets, including Adrienne Rich, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mark Doty, Martin Espada, Kwame Dawes, and Marilyn Chin. These resources can be found online at www.teachersdomain.org/special/pe08-wx/.

Selections from Poetry Everywhere also are offered on iTunes U and YouTube.

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