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National Poetry Month is a registered trademark of the Academy of American Poets.

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Explore the highlights of previous Poetry & the Creative Mind celebrations, including photos as well as lists of poems that were read.

2005 Benefit
2006 Benefit
2007 Benefit
2008 Benefit
2009 Benefit
2010 Benefit
2011 Benefit
2012 Benefit

Poetry & the Creative Mind 2005 Print


On April 5, 2005, the Academy of American Poets held its third annual benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind , at Alice Tully 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.

This year, our special guest readers were Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Tony Kushner, Maya Lin, Sam Waterston, Suzan-Lori Parks, Minnie Driver, Dan Rather, Agnes Gund, Frank Rich, and Diane von Furstenberg. Each read poems by some of America’s bestloved poets, including Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, A.R. Ammons, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, and Denise Levertov.

With the generous support of our friends and donors, Poetry & The Creative Mind raised approximately $175,000 for the Academy and our signature program, National Poetry Month. We are very grateful for your support.

—Tree Swenson, Executive Director
The Academy of American Poets


Minnie Driver

Sam Waterston

Diane von Furstenberg

Liam Neeson

Frank Rich

Agnes Gund

Dan and Jean Rather at the reception.

Maya Lin and Daniel Wolf at the reception.

Sam Waterston and Meryl Streep backstage before the reading.

Darrell Larson and event co-chair Rose Styron.

Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks at the reception.

Dian von Furstenberg and Liam Neeson go over their poems backstage.

The evening's readers backstage before the performance.

Suzan-Lori Parks and event co-chair Jorie Graham.

Chip Kidd and Academy Chairman Emerita Mrs. Edward T. Chase.

Academy Board Members William B. Warren and Liza Bennett.

Academy Board Members Helen Houghton and Burton Goldberg.

Academy Board Member J.D. McClatchy and Executive Director Tree Swenson.

Emma Forrest, Minnie Driver, Dan Rather, and Dan Rosen at the reception.

Jean Zou, Ralph McElvenny, Alex Sanger, and Jeannette Watson Sanger.

Academy Board Members Dorothy Blaney, David Finn, and Susan Barba.
Photos copyright © Brian Palmer & Patrick McMullan
2005 Program

Opening Remarks
Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets
Rose Styron, Board of Directors, Academy of American Poets

Suzan-Lori Parks
from the Navajo, “In Beauty May I Walk”
“Visits to St. Elizabeth’s,” Elizabeth Bishop
“Ways of Conquest,” Denise Levertov

Meryl Streep
Theme for English B,” Langston Hughes
“Easter Morning,” A.R. Ammons
“Sandpiper,” Elizabeth Bishop

Dan Rather
“The Death of a Soldier,” Wallace Stevens

Minnie Driver
“Morning Song,” Sylvia Plath
“One Winter Afternoon,” E.E. Cummings
Lullaby,” W.H. Auden

Maya Lin
“Dream Song” 14, John Berryman
“Dream Song” 46, John Berryman
“A Note on War Poetry,” T.S. Eliot

Tony Kushner
“Jamesian,” Thom Gunn
from “At the Barriers,” Thom Gunn
“Words for Some Ash ,” Thom Gunn
from “Against the False Magicians,” Thomas McGrath

Liam Neeson
“The Old WPA Swimming Pool in Martins Ferry, Ohio,” James Wright
“Strange Meeting,” Wilfred Owen
“Frederick Douglass,” Robert Hayden

Agnes Gund
“Sympathy,” Paul Dunbar
“My Grandmother’s Love Letters,” Hart Crane

Frank Rich
“Musée des Beaux Arts,” W.H. Auden
“Ave Maria,” Frank O’Hara

Diane von Furstenberg
“The Wings,” Denise Levertov
“Recuerdo,” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sam Waterston
“Eros Turrannos,” E.A. Robinson
“Hurt Hawks,” Robinson Jeffers
from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed,” Walt Whitman
Epilogue,” Robert Lowell

Closing Remarks
Jorie Graham, former Chancellor, Academy of American Poets

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