Branching Out Milwaukee: Eamon Grennan on Emily Dickinson

"This talk, 'Identity to Seek: The Selves of Emily,' engages with a number of the poems of Emily Dickinson, in order to think about her as a poet who reveals to us, in her nature as a fragmented or multiple self, something about what lyric poetry is and means. I connect her work with some of the remarks Keats makes about the character of the poet, as well as placing her in a lyric context containing such poets as Yeats, Whitman, and Stevens.

Stanley's Century: Celebrating Stanley Kunitz's 100th Birthday

More than a dozen poets and artists gather to celebrate the achievement of Stanley Kunitz as poet, editor, teacher, activist, community leader, collaborator, and friend. Their readings and remarks about his life, work, and times will offer a unique glimpse into this legendary figure of twentieth-century American letters.

Branching Out Fresno: Eavan Boland on William Butler Yeats

Looking at Yeats, though the lens of his finished poems, he can seem a historic poet, almost cast in marble. In fact Yeats was a turbulent, troubled young man who became a passionate and sorrowful older one. His love poems show that. His poems of Ireland show it too. His beautiful language, far from being a monument, is a fever chart of the intensity and hunger with which he lived his life. Ireland and a desperate, unrequited love affair drove his poetry, some of which is the greatest of the twentieth century. So did his fear of old age and his fury at the modern world.

Poetry in The Branches Reading: Joshua Beckman

Beginning in February 2005 , Staten Island teens and adults will be doing what Poetry in The Branches was designed for: bumping into poetry and discovering its delights. The pilot year of this program will see Staten Island branches of The New York Public Library hosting six poetry-writing workshops for teens, and, for adults, a series of readings by stellar poets of their own and their favorite poets’ work. On a Spring afternoon or evening, when a trip on the ferry adds an extra note of pleasure to your day, come hear these readings.

Passwords: Jane Miller on Federico García Lorca

Jane Miller speaks on Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)—the poet, puppeteer, painter, pianist.

"American Duende" with Tracy K. Smith

Lorca names the dark, unpredictable, often dangerous energy that art sometimes channels as Duende: “daemon, hobgoblin, keeper of the mystery, the roots fastened in the mire that we all know and all ignore.” This course will examine the duende’s presence in contemporary American poetry, including works by Langston Hughes, James Dickey, Rita Dove, and Li-Young Lee. Through writing exercises and assignments, you’ll also get the push to wrestle with your own dark forces.

Passwords: Mary Kinzie on Louise Bogan

Mary Kinzie speaks about the American poet Louise Bogan (1897-1970), her writing and her career in literary journalism.

Poetry in the Children's Room: Shel Silverstein Shel-ebration

Come Shelebrate the life and work of the beloved barefoot troubadour Shel Silverstein with poets Jan Heller Levi, Annie Wright, and Mike Romanos. Musician DB Leonard will perform some of Shel's songs and we'll watch a special slide show of cartoons. Don't forget to bring your favorite poem to read at our open mic!

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