TMCnet News Celebrates National Poetry Month With Daily Poetry Podcasts
[March 29, 2006] Celebrates National Poetry Month With Daily Poetry Podcasts

(Comtex Community Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)CHICAGO, Mar 29, 2006 (U.S. Newswire via COMTEX) --In honor of National Poetry Month, the Poetry Foundation will deliver a daily poetry podcast from its recently launched online archive at Beginning April 3, the new audio series features high-quality recordings of poems, interviews with poets, and poetry documentaries.

The National Poetry Month podcasts include an audio biography of renowned African-American poet June Jordan, recordings by actors Alfred Molina and Paul Giamatti, Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor interviewing poets Billy Collins and Kay Ryan, profiles of poets Linda Bierds and Samuel Menashe, poetry in translation -- audio selections from the April 2006 issue of Poetry magazine, and recordings by award-winning contemporary poets Jane Hirshfield, Tom Sleigh, Marilyn Nelson, and Donald Hall.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, recently announced the launch of, a major new Web site for English-language poetry. At the core of the new site is an extensive archive of poetry, including more than 3,000 poems by more than 300 poets. All of the site's content, including the poetry archive, is accessible free of charge.

"Poetry arises out of the need to engage life in some primary way, to deal with the world which is given to us and to which we are given," noted John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation. " is intended to be a major addition to the expanding universe of people who go to the Internet for that engagement."'s spirited and provocative editorial content, presented in text, audio, and visual formats, includes:

-- The archive, a database consisting of more than 300 poets and 3,000 poems continually updated and expanded

-- The Poetry Tool, a user-friendly interface to the database that helps people find content by poem (category, occasion, title, etc.), poet (name, time period, geography, etc.), articles (culture, news, publishing, etc.), and audio/visuals (readings, interviews, posters, etc.)

-- Magazine-style features on poets, poetry, and culture

-- Reading guides by critics, poets, and teachers introducing poems and poets to curious readers

-- Poetry publishing industry news, such as best seller lists and interviews with booksellers

-- News about poetry, including reviews of readings and a weekly poetry blog

-- Exclusive content from Poetry magazine -- now in its 94th year of continuous publication -- including book reviews, articles, and letters

-- Key announcements, initiatives, awards, and events from the Poetry Foundation

Created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month brings together readers, writers, publishers, booksellers, libraries, and schools to celebrate poetry in American culture.

Additional features slated to appear on in April include:

-- International and "Second-Language" Bloggers: Each week, a well-known literary figure from across the world writes about poetry from an international or immigrant perspective.

-- Nine by Nine ?? Poems Yet to Enter Anyone's Canon: Nine poets offer an annotated list of nine poems that have not yet been widely anthologized.

-- "Second-Language" Poets: Journalists profile poets who write in English but who were born in another country, or were raised with another language. Poets include Lisel Mueller, Ilya Kaminsky, Martin Espada, Chris Abani, and Adam Zagajewski.

-- Poetry and the Other Art Forms: A continuing series on the relationship between poetry and the performing and visual arts. Poet and critic Robert Polito writes about Andrew Marvell in the context of Andy Warhol's "Death and Disaster" paintings, and journalist Tim Appelo writes about a poem by Alicia Ostriker found in Kurt Cobain's journal.

In addition to the launch of its new Web site, the Poetry Foundation continues to expand the universe of poetry readers by developing new audiences through various projects and programs.

Poetry: 29 poets translate 29 poems

Poetry magazine celebrates international poetry with a special edition featuring the publication of 29 brand-new translations. From Seamus Heaney's new interpretation of a ninth-century Irish poem to Richard Wilbur's translation of Mallarme's "The Tomb of Edgar Poe," some of the world's most renowned poets are featured in the project. Poems from the special issue, as well as essays by the translators, will also be available as podcasts at throughout the month of April.

Poetry Off the Shelf: Chicago

Adam Zagajewski & Clare Cavanagh -- One of the leading poets of the Polish New Wave, Adam Zagajewski has written novels and essays as well as volumes of verse, including Mysticism for Beginners and Without End: New and Selected Poems. Sharing the stage with Zagajewski is his award-winning translator, Clare Cavanagh, who is also the translator for Wislawa Szymborska??s poetry and essays. Thursday, April 27, 6 p.m. at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

Created by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), "Poetry Out Loud" encourages students to memorize and perform great poems by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English classroom. High school students in each state capital region will participate in classroom and school wide contests, advancing to state competitions in April 2006. On May 16, the NEA and the Poetry Foundation will host the "Poetry Out Loud" National Finals in Washington, D.C. More than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships will be awarded.

Poetry in America

The Poetry Foundation recently conducted the first-ever statistically based research study designed to find out where poetry stands in American culture. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago surveyed more than 1,000 adult readers about their perceptions of poetry. The findings will be available at in April.

For more information and a complete listing of National Poetry Month events, features, and poetry podcasts, please visit


About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. One of the largest literary organizations in the world, it exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Anne Halsey of the Poetry Foundation, 312-799-8016 or
[email protected]

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