poem index

Audio Archive


January 01, 2000


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Audio     A precious treasure chest has been unearthed with these historic recordings.

The Academy keeps a complete archive of its live poetry readings and other events, dating back to John Berryman’s historic first reading of The Dream Songs on Halloween night, 1963. The resulting Poetry Audio Archive spans over forty years, comprises more than 775 recordings and 1,000 hours of tape, and represents the work of nearly 800 poets, making it one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive aural literary archives.

Highlights of the collection include voices that can never again be recorded: A. R. Ammons, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Creeley, H.D., Allen Ginsberg, Robert Hayden, Anthony Hecht, Randall Jarrell, Kenneth Koch, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Lowell, James Merrill, Czeslaw Milosz, Robert Penn Warren, William Carlos Williams, James Wright, and more. A catalog of the full collection is available upon request.

In the interest of making Academy events accessible to all, more than 400 audio clips are available for free on Poets.org.

Members who contribute $100 or more receive one free CD each year. Membership support and the proceeds from these tapes make possible the Academy's many important programs, including the production of further recordings. Please see our Membership Page for more details about benefits and programs.

This program is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state arts agency.