Audio Roundup: Poetry & Science, Favorite Poems, Supernatural Poetry & More
October at Poets House offered up an abundant harvest of events that emphasized the importance of poetry to understanding our relationship to each other and to the planet. We invite you to listen to recordings of these programs, available on our website now!
As an extension of our project Field Work, which cultivates interdisciplinary learning through poetry and scientific programs in natural history museums and public libraries, we presented two Poetry & Science programs at Poets House:
- Poetry, Deep Time & the Stars featured a presentation by Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, and a reading by poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, author of the forthcoming A Treatise on Stars. Katharine Coles, Field Work Poet-in-Residence for Salt Lake City, introduced the event with a reading from a lyric essay.
- In Our Intimate Connections to Trees, canopy ecologist Nalini Nadkarni spoke with poet Forrest Gander about ecology and ecopoetics. The event was facilitated by Alison Hawthorne Deming, Field Work Poet-in-Residence for Milwaukee.
Other October programs explored the life of poetry, celebrating the individual poetic voice and poetry in community:
- Robert Pinsky, former U. S. Poet Laureate, presented his signature Favorite Poem Project, with various individuals reading their favorite works, including scholar Nell Painter, jazz musician Laurence Hobgood, memoirist Vivian Gornick, novelists Michael Cunningham and Francine Prose, Lunaape language teacher Karen Mosko, and more.
- Robert Hass joined Daniel Halpern in conversation for a tribute to the work of the founder and editor of Ecco Press.
- In North of Invention: The Shaking Tent, Liz Howard, winner of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, discussed Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) ritual as it has informed her poetics.
Poets House also co-presented the Academy of American Poets’ Chancellor Conversations with three panels on poetry’s engagement with culture:
- Poetry Makes Nothing Happen?: Poetry In/And the Public Sphere with Elizabeth Alexander, Alicia Ostriker, Marie Howe, Alberto Ríos, and Natasha Trethewey;
- Our Own Foreignness: Border-Crossing Poetry in Translation with Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Khaled Mattawa, and Marilyn Chin; and
- Writing Poetry in a Troubled World with Kwame Dawes, Linda Gregerson, Terrance Hayes, and David St. John.
The final program of the month, just in time for Halloween, investigated the realm of speculative poetry:
- Poetry of the Supernatural: The Weird featured Bryan Thao Worra, president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, and Linda Addison, the first black woman to win the Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award, discussing poetry of the uncanny—from poems by H. P. Lovecraft to works by contemporary poets including W. H. Pugmire and Stephanie M. Wytovich.
Please enjoy these programs—and many more from our archive of audio recordings!