Poetry & the Creative Mind 2009

On April 1, 2009, the Academy of American Poets held its 7th 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.

Our special guest readers were Joan Baez, Roy Blount, Jr., Jorie Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chip Kidd, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Reich, Mark Strand, and Harold Varmus. Each read poems by some of America's best-loved poets, including AudenFrost,Bishop, and Dickinson.



Opening Remarks
Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets

Rose Styron
E. E. Cummingssomewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Seamus Heaney, from The Cure at Troy
Theodore Roethke, The Waking

Steve Reich
William Carlos WilliamsThis is Just to Say
William Carlos Williams, Portrait of a Young Woman at a Window
William Carlos Williams, from Theocritus: Idyl I
William Carlos Williams, from The Orchestra 
William Carlos Williams, from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower

Jorie Graham
James Wright, Hook
James Wright, WPA Swimming Pool
Anthony Hecht, A Hill
Philip Levine, You Can Have It

Chip Kidd
Dr. Seuss, from If I Ran the Zoo 
John Updike, Outliving One’s Father
John Updike, Peggy Lutz, Fred Muth 12/13/08
John Updike, Requiem
Emily DickinsonBecause I could not stop for Death

Harold Varmus
Andrew MarvellTo His Coy Mistress
John DonneTo His Mistress Going to Bed
Robert Herrick, To Julia
Robert Herrick, Upon Julia's Washing Herself in the River
Robert Herrick, Upon Julia's Clothes
Robert Herrick, His Last Request to Julia

Mark Strand
Archibald MacLeishYou, Andrew Marvell
Elizabeth Bishop, The Imaginary Iceberg

Wynton Marsalis
Charles Bukowski, to the whore who took my poems 
Hart Crane, Carmen De Boheme 
Sterling A. BrownRiverbank Blues
Charles Bukowski, oh yes

Maggie Gyllenhaal
W. H. AudenIn Memory of Sigmund Freud
William Carlos WilliamsDanse Russe
Anna Akhmatova, I Wrung My Hands

Roy Blount, Jr.
Robert Frost, The Ax-Helve

Joan Baez
Low Low Impact Class
Alfred Hayes, I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night 

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