"I think every important occasion and human event should be accompanied by a poem," says Meryl Streep in a backstage conversation with Katie Couric. Watch Couric's YouTube channel video coverage of Poetry & the Creative Mind.
Poetry & the Creative Mind 2008
On April 1, 2008, the Academy of American Poets held its sixth annual benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind, at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Some of America’s leading artists, scholars, and public figures participated in this extraordinary evening celebrating the role of contemporary poetry in American culture. Poetry & The Creative Mind kicks off National Poetry Month, established by the Academy in 1996 and now the largest literary celebration in the world.
This year, our special guest readers were Candace Bushnell, Robert Caro, Graydon Carter, Katie Couric, Philippe de Montebello, Jonathan Demme, John Guare, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dianne Reeves, Liz Smith, and Meryl Streep. Each read poems by some of America’s best-loved poets, including Emily Dickinson, Robert Hayden, Gertrude Stein, and Gwendolyn Brooks.
With the generous support of our friends and donors, Poetry & The Creative Mind raised approximately $175,000 for the Academy and our National Poetry Month activities. We are very grateful for your support, and we look forward to seeing you in April 2009 for the seventh annual Poetry & The Creative Mind.
—Tree Swenson, Executive Director
Academy of American Poets
Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets
Robert Hayden, Names
Robert Hayden, Sphinx
Robert Hayden, Monet's Waterlilies
Randall Jarrell, The Lost Children
Dorothy Parker, Our Office: A Hate Song
Philippe de Montebello
Theodore Roethke, The Geranium
Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man
Edna St.Vincent Millay, Dirge Without Music
Edgar Allan Poe, The Valley of Unrest
Ezra Pound, The Garden
W. H. Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fable
Robert Frost, The Bearer of Evil Tidings
Emily Dickinson, Hope is the thing with feathers
Emily Dickinson, A Man may make a Remark
Edward Hirsch, Branch Library
Edward Hirsch, Special Orders
Edward Hirsch, Elegy for the Jewish Villages
William Carlos Williams, from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower
Eunice J. Panetta, Chairman, Academy of American Poets