On April 27, 2011, the Academy of American Poets held its 9th annual benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.
Noted actors, musicians, writers, and visual artists participated
in this extraordinary evening celebrating the role of contemporary poetry in American culture. Poetry & the Creative Mind celebrates National Poetry Month, established by the Academy in 1996 and now the largest literary celebration in the world.
Our special guest readers were Alec Baldwin, Dan Barber, Adrien Brody, Michael Cunningham, Jesse Eisenberg, Caroline Kennedy, Liev Schreiber, Patti Smith, and Cassandra Wilson. Chip Kidd served as master of ceremonies. They read work by poets including Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Hass, Langston Hughes, Frank O'Hara, among others.
With the generous support of friends and donors, Poetry & the Creative Mind raised $150,000 for the Academy and National Poetry Month activities.
Chip Kidd, Master of Ceremonies
Elizabeth Bishop, Letter to New York
Elizabeth Bishop, One Art
Delmore Schwartz, The Ballad of the Children of the Czar
Delmore Schwartz, The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me
Robert Hass, Meditation at Lagunitas
Marie Howe, Annunciation
Frank O'Hara, Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]
Langston Hughes, In Time of Silver Rain
Nikky Finney, Left
Charles Bukowski, the proud thin dying
Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.), The Ten Crack Commandments
Joseph Brodsky, A Song
Charles Simic, My Beloved
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130
Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing
Arthur Rimbaud, Eternity
translated by Louise Varese
Allen Ginsberg, Footnote to Howl
Enomoto Seifu-jo, Everyone is asleep,
translated by Kenneth Rexroth
Edgar Allen Poe, Annabel Lee
Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets