Host Elisa New rediscovers the freshness and the still-potent charge of Emma Lazarus’s iconic sonnet alongside singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, activist and founder of the United We Dream Foundation Cristina Jiménez, President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten, financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein, and poet Duy Doan.
Learn alongside host Elisa New as Nas, music executive Steve Stoute, scholar Salamishah Tillet, and a chorus of hip hop heads, rappers, and fans break down the breakbeats and rhymes–and explore the searing vision–of Nas’s iconic track “N.Y. State of Mind.”
How is the poet’s eye like–or unlike–that of the scientist, the photographer, or of the small child first rambling around the natural world? In this episode, Elisa New is joined by evolutionary biologist E.O Wilson, poet Robert Hass, environmental photographer Laura McPhee, naturalist Joel Wagner, and kids at a Mass Audubon Society summer camp in a wide ranging discussion of Galway Kinnell’s poem.
This episode brings together a group of interpreters who learned in prison to hear poetry’s “call.” Learn from Senator John McCain, playwright and activist Anna Deavere Smith, poets Reginald Dwayne Betts and Li-Young Lee, and four exonerated prisoners about poetry’s special resonance for those behind bars.
At New York Fashion Week, host Elisa New catches up with fashion designer Johnson Hartig, Bergdorf Goodman’s Betty Halbreich, shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, and design and poetry students from the New School to discuss Robert Pinsky’s “Shirt.” Back in Boston, poet Robert Pinsky helps trace the intricate history of the garment and the poem.
How are ordinary people to regard, and respond to, suffering they have not caused? Ponder W.H. Auden’s World War II era reflections on suffering in “Musée des Beaux Arts" with Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, with journalist and ethicist David Brooks, and with poet, professor, and painter Peter Sacks.
“What happens to a dream deferred?” Langston Hughes’s question calls President Bill Clinton, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, poet Sonia Sanchez, and students from the Harlem Children’s Zone to interpret Hughes’s most iconic poem,“Harlem.” Together with host Elisa New, the President and other guests, explore the poem’s rhythms and rhymes, and discuss its enduring call for justice.
Elisa New considers the rise of the skyscraper—and the emergence of the modernist poem—in an episode featuring celebrated architect Frank Gehry, Chinese visionary and real estate developer Zhang Xin, poet Robert Polito, and student poets from around the United States. And what about today? Can a building, as Sandburg asserts, have “soul,” and who gives it that soul?
Read two of Ginsberg’s most emotionally transporting poems, the “Hymmnn” from Kaddish, and the anti-war chant “Hum Bom!” with rock star Bono, former United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and a chorus of clergy and religious practitioners. Hosted by Elisa New.
Robert Hayden’s sonnet “Those Winter Sundays” offers a meditation on the fraught love between fathers and sons. Vice President Joe Biden, Inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, and psychologist Angela Duckworth join a chorus of working fathers and sons to reflect on Hayden’s moving poem.
Edward Hirsch’s poem, “Fast Break,” captures a single slow-motion play on a basketball court. Join Hirsch, host Elisa New, NBA players Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, and Shane Battier, and a group of pick-up basketball players as they use basketball to understand poetry—and poetry to better understand the game of basketball.
“I cannot dance opon my toes,” Emily Dickinson writes—“no man instructed me.” Join host Elisa New, actor Cynthia Nixon, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, dancer and choreographer Jill Johnson, and poet Marie Howe in an exploration of the challenges of art and audience across time, space, and artistic medium.