Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

In 1855 Walt Whitman declared "The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem." Poetry In America celebrates the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, playwright Tony Kushner, poets Mark Doty and Marilyn Chin, and a chorus of National Student Poets, discussing Whitman's powerful and timeless work.
August 6, 2020 4:30 am on WORLD | Episode #208 | 27 minutes | Visit Website

Poetry in America

Series Overview

The 12-part series POETRY IN AMERICA draws students of all ages into conversations about poetry. Hosted by Harvard University professor Elisa New, each half-hour episode highlights the work of one distinguished poet (Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks) with a reading by an individual well known for accomplishments outside the humanities (actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Grammy-Award winner Herbie Hancock; former vice president Joe Biden, and rapper/poet Nas), as well as a chorus of others, including: a chorus of pick-up basketball players, young naturalists at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and students at the Parsons School of Design. The fast-moving, beautifully shot series offers viewers a fully immersive experience in hearing, reading, and interpreting a single American poem. Scholar Elisa New opens a conversation about poetry and encourages viewers at home to extend the discussion past the episode's end.