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


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 2006 Print

Alan Alda
Winton Marsalis, Wendy Whelan, Mike Wallace, William Wegman, & Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Gloria Vanderbilt, Dr. Andrew Slavy, Dianne Wiest, & Jeannette Watson Sanger at the reception

On April 4, 2006, the Academy of American Poets held its fourth 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. 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 Meryl Streep, Wynton Marsalis, Alan Alda, Wendy Whelan, Mike Wallace, Dianne Wiest, Oliver Sacks, Gloria Vanderbilt, William Wegman, and Christopher Durang. Each read poems by some of America’s best-loved poets, including William Carlos Williams, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and Kenneth Koch.

With the generous support of our friends and donors, Poetry & The Creative Mind raised approximately $150,000 for the Academy and our National Poetry Month activities. We are very grateful for your support.

—Tree Swenson, Executive Director
Academy of American Poets



Opening Remarks
Eunice J. Panetta, Chairman, Academy of American Poets

Christopher Durang
Kenneth Koch, They Say Prince Hamlet's Found a Southern Island
Kenneth Koch, Let’s Pour Coca Cola on the Priest
Robert Creeley, I Know a Man
Theodore Roethke, Dolor
Margaret Walker, On Youth and Age

Oliver Sacks
Robert Frost, A Considerable Speck
Thom Gunn, On the Move

Dianne Wiest
Louise Bogan, The Dream
Louise Bogan, Several Voices from a Cloud
T. S. Eliot, from Four Quartets, Burnt Norton

Alan Alda
Howard Nemerov, Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry
Robert Penn Warren, Code Book Lost
Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays
Richard Hugo, Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg
Wallace Stevens, The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

Gloria Vanderbilt
May Swenson, Deciding
May Swenson, The Key to Everything
Charles Bukowski, No Leaders, Please

Wynton Marsalis
A. Van Jordan, Jookin’
Sterling A. Brown, Ma Rainey
Ellis Marsalis III, Chocolate
Langston Hughes, Songs

Wendy Whelan
Sylvia Plath, Mirror
Theodore Roethke, The Restored
Walt Whitman, To One Shortly to Die

Mike Wallace
A. E. Stallings, Triolet on a Line Apocryphally Attributed to Martin Luther
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

William Wegman
William Carlos Williams, This Is Just to Say
Kenneth Koch, Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams
Kenneth Koch, The Magic of Numbers

Meryl Streep
Denise Levertov, The Secret
Frank O’Hara, To the Film Industry in Crisis
Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

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

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