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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
2013 Benefit

Poetry & the Creative Mind 2012

On April 5, 2012, the Academy of American Poets held its 10th 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 Tom Brokaw, Claire Danes, John Wesley Harding, Terrence Howard, Bill Keller, Colum McCann, Dianne Reeves, Brooke Shields, and Meryl Streep. Chip Kidd served as master of ceremonies. They read work by poets including E. E. Cummings, Nikky Finney, Muriel Rukeyser, and Walt Whitman, among others.


Opening Remarks
Chip Kidd, Master of Ceremonies
Tree Swenson, Outgoing Executive Director
(read "Horses at Midnight Without a Moon" by Jack Gilbert)

Colum McCann
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Muriel Rukeyser, Then I Saw What the
   Calling Was
Amy Clampitt, Blueberrying in August
Wendell Berry, A Meeting
Nikky Finney, I Have Been Somewhere

Claire Danes
E. E. Cummings, if up's the word
Frank O'Hara, Having a Coke with You

John Wesley Harding
Thomas Wyatt, They Flee from Me
John Whitworth, The Examiners

Terrence Howard
Stanley Kunitz, The Layers
Rod McKuen, Gifts from the Sea

Brooke Shields
Robert Graves, The Spoilsport
Billy Collins, Nostalgia
Howard Nemerov, To David, About
   His Education

Bill Keller
Brad Leithauser, Half Home
Kay Ryan, Things Shouldn't Be So Hard
Frederick Seidel, The Pierre Hotel,
   New York, 1946
Stephen Dunn, Our Parents

Dianne Reeves
Stanley Kunitz, The Portrait
Kenneth Koch, Permanently
Lucille Clifton, homage to my hips
Gwendolyn Brooks, Queen of the Blues

Tom Brokaw
Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing
Donald Hall, Her Garden
James Welch, In My Lifetime
David Allan Evans, The Bull Rider's Advice

Meryl Streep
W. H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening
Elizabeth Bishop, At the Fishhouses

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