Poetry & the Creative Mind 2014

Esperanza Spalding, Poetry and the Creative Mind

On April 24, 2014, the Academy of American Poets presented its twelfth annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebratory reading at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. 

Special guest readers included:

Michaela CoplenRosie Perez
Billy CrudupParker Posey
Tina FeyEsperanza Spalding
Kevin KlinePatrick Stewart
Julianna MarguliesMeryl Streep
Drew NieporentCarrie Mae Weems

... with master of ceremonies Chip Kidd


Poems Read at the 2014 Gala

To mark the Academy’s eightieth anniversary, readers shared the following poems from the last eighty years of American poetry.

Michaela Coplen
"Redeployment” by Michaela Coplen

Drew Nieporent
“Counterman” by Paul Violi
“In Memory of Radio” by Amiri Baraka

Parker Posey
“Characteristics of Life” by Camille T. Dungy
“Sci-Fi” by Tracy K. Smith

Esperanza Spalding
“Life Is Fine” by Langston Hughes
“Untitled [I talk to my inner lover]” by Kabir, trans. Robert Bly
“The Fly” by William Blake

Patrick Stewart
“The Word” by Tony Hoagland
“Jaws” by Carl Sandburg
“God’s World” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rosie Perez
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
“The Bean Eaters” by Gwendolyn Brooks

Tina Fey
“The Secret” by Denise Levertov
“The List of Famous Hats” by James Tate

Carrie Mae Weems
“cutting greens” by Lucille Clifton
“The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes
“A Table in the Wilderness” by Li-Young Lee

Kevin Kline
“To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl” by Billy Collins
“The Trouble with Poetry” by Billy Collins

Billy Crudup
“Believing in Iron” by Yusef Komunyakaa
“Gospel” by Philip Levine

Julianna Margulies
“When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver
“Happiness” by Jane Kenyon

Meryl Streep
“The Writer” by Richard Wilbur
“Morning Song” by Sylvia Plath