Poetry in America Featured Guests

Poetry in America believes that anyone can have a conversation about a poem.

Here are some of the distinguished guests with whom we’ve filmed conversations so far.

 

 

The following is a full list (in alphabetical order) of those we’ve filmed so far for Poetry in America:

  • Elizabeth Alexander
  • “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
  • Poet
  • Woody Allen
  • Director and Actor
  • “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams
  • Matt Aucoin
  • Composer and Conductor
  • On Walt Whitman
  • Mary Jo Bang
  • Poet
  • “The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath
  • Shane Battier
  • NBA player
  • “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Daniel Berger-Jones
  • Founder, Cambridge Historical Tours
  • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot
  • Reginald Dwayne Betts
  • Poet and Memoirist
  • “To Prisoners” by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Joe Biden
  • Vice President of the United States
  • “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
  • Richard Blanco
  • Poet
  • “Looking for the Gulf Motel” by Richard Blanco
  • Bono
  • Singer-Songwriter
  • “Kaddish” by Allen Ginsberg
  • Boston Latin School
  • Boston, MA
  • “Steps” by Frank O’Hara
  • Edythe and Eli Broad
  • Broad Art Museum
  • On Cy Twombly
  • David Brooks
  • Journalist
  • “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden
  • Brookline High School
  • “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot
  • AP European Literature Class
  • Lawrence Buell
  • Powell M. Cabot Professor, Harvard
  • On Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Kate Burton
  • Actor (Scandal)
  • “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky | “Poem” by Elizabeth Bishop
  • Cambridge Street Upper School
  • 7th+8th grade English Language Arts
  • “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman
  • Rafael Campo
  • Poet and Physician
  • On William Carlos Williams
  • Kevin Carey
  • Director of the Education Policy Program, The New America Foundation
  • “Teaching English from an Old Composition Book” by Gary Soto
  • Glenda Carpio
  • Professor of English and African American Studies
  • On Phillis Wheatley
  • Maurice Clarett
  • NFL Player | Motivational Speaker
  • “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio” by James Wright
  • The City of London School
  • Ben Bellak and 6th Form Boys
  • “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot
  • Bill Clinton
  • President of the United States
  • “Harlem” by Langston Hughes
  • Todd Colby
  • Poet
  • “Steps” by Frank O’Hara
  • David Coleman
  • President of the College Board
  • “Birches” by Robert Frost
  • Billy Collins
  • Poet Laureate of the United States
  • “You were wearing” by Kenneth Koch | “Undressing Emily Dickinson” by Billy Collins
  • Jason Collins
  • NBA Player
  • “Tell all the truth but tell it slant –” by Emily Dickinson
  • Kelly Corrigan
  • Writer
  • “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke
  • Katie Couric
  • Journalist
  • “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop
  • Ray Dalio
  • Founder and CEO, Bridgewater Associates
  • “The Fish” by Marianne Moore
  • Terence Davies
  • Director 
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Richard Dawkins
  • Evolutionary Biologist
  • “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost
  • Duy Doan
  • Poet
  • “Dusting” by Rita Dove
  • Angela Duckworth
  • Psychologist
  • “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
  • Jordan Ellenburg
  • Mathematician
  • “Soonest Mended” by John Ashbery
  • Rahm Emanuel
  • Mayor of Chicago
  • “America” by Walt Whitman
  • Eve Ensler
  • Playwright and Performer
  • “Diving into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich
  • James and Deborah Fallows
  • Journalists | “American Futures” Project
  • On Edgar Lee Masters
  • Drew Faust
  • President of Harvard University
  • On Civil War Poetry
  • Alan Filreis
  • Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
  • On Wallace Stevens
  • Caitlin Flanagan
  • Writer | Journalist
  • “I Go Back to May 1937” by Sharon Olds
  • Pau Gasol
  • NBA Player
  • “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Professor | Filmmaker
  • On Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Peter Gallison
  • Pellegrino University Professor, History of Science, Harvard University
  • On William Carlos Williams
  • Al Gore
  • Vice President of the United States
  • “Each and All” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Greenwich Country Day School
  • 1st, 3rd, and 9th Grade
  • “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams | “My Mother Enters the Workforce” by Rita Dove | “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Jazz Pianist
  • “Harlem” by Langston Hughes | “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky
  • Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy
  • Harlem, NY
  • “Harlem” by Langston Hughes
  • Harvard Men’s Basketball Team
  • Cambridge, MA
  • “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Harvard University Center for the Environment
  • Cambridge, MA
  • On Emily Dickinson and Natural Disasters
  • Hebrew University
  • Center for Literary Studies
  • “New York” by Marianne Moore
  • Juan Felipe Herrera
  • United States Poet Laureate
  • “Kaddish” and “Hum Bom!” by Allen Ginsberg
  • Edward Hirsch
  • Poet
  • “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Jane Hirshfield
  • Poet
  • “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams
  • Marie Howe
  • Poet
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Susan Howe
  • Poet
  • On Wallace Stevens and Emily Dickinson
  • Frank Gehry
  • Architect
  • “Skyscraper” by Carl Sandburg
  • Elena Kagan
  • Associate Justice, Supreme Court
  • “Poetry” by Marianne Moore
  • Lord Mervyn King
  • Director of the Bank of England
  • “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot
  • Joel Klein
  • Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education
  • “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Randy Komisar
  • Venture Capitalist | Author
  • On Basho
  • Tony Kushner
  • Playwright
  • “The Conflict of Convictions” by Herman Melville
  • Li-Young Lee
  • Poet
  • “To Prisoners” by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Greg LeMond
  • Tour de France Champion
  • “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman
  • Al Lewis
  • Opera Singer
  • On Walt Whitman
  • John Lithgow
  • Actor
  • “Ave Maria” by Frank O’Hara
  • Karen Karbiener
  • Master Teacher of Liberal Studies Program, NYU
  • On Walt Whitman
  • Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Poet
  • “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa
  • David Kravitz
  • Opera Singer
  • “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman
  • Yo Yo Ma
  • Cellist
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Anthony Malkin
  • Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust
  • “The Empire State Lights” by MacKinlay Kantor
  • Chris Massenberg
  • Hip Hop Scholar and Poet
  • On Lyricism and Hip Hop
  • Ryan McCittrick
  • Dramaturg, The American Repertory Theater
  • On Performance and Poetry
  • Laura McPhee
  • Photographer
  • “The Gray Heron” by Galway Kinnell
  • Thomas Menino
  • Mayor of Boston (deceased)
  • “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Martha Minow
  • Dean of Harvard Law School
  • “The Soldier’s Faith” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. | “Rituals for Reading” by William Stafford
  • Andrea Mitchell
  • Journalist
  • “July in Washington” by Robert Lowell
  • John McCain
  • United States Senator for Arizona
  • “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service
  • Eileen Myles
  • Poet
  • “the mother’s story” by Lucille Clifton | “What Tree Am I Waiting” – “Late March” – “That Country” by Eileen Myles
  • Nasir Jones (Nas)
  • Rapper | Songwriter | Producer
  • “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman | “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” by Nas
  • Nantucket High School Students
  • Nantucket, MA
  • “Nantucket” by William Carlos Williams
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • NBA Basketball Player
  • “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
  • Cynthia Nixon
  • Actress
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Team
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • “Glad” by Coleman Barks
  • Jay Parini
  • Poet | Biographer | Screenwriter
  • “Mending Wall” and “Out, Out!” by Robert Frost
  • Diane Paulus
  • Artistic Director, The American Repertory Theater
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Walter Peyton College Prep Students
  • Chicago, IL
  • “Each body has its art” by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Jane Pickering
  • Director of the Harvard Museum of Natural History
  • “He Digesteth Harde Yron” and “Silence” by Marianne Moore
  • Robert Pinsky
  • Poet Laureate of the United States
  • “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky
  • Michael Pollan
  • Writer
  • “Hasty Pudding” by Joel Barlow
  • Robert Polito
  • Poet 
  • On Chicago Poets
  • Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Poet and Musician
  • On Kenneth Koch and Leonard Cohen
  • Lil Buck Riley
  • Dancer
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Laura Rittenhouse
  • Author
  • “Poetry” by Marianne Moore
  • David Rubenstein
  • CEO, The Carlyle Group
  • “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
  • Peter Sacks
  • Artist, Poet
  • “Musee des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Poet
  • “Harlem” by Langston Hughes
  • Jason Saul
  • Founder, “Mission Measurement”
  • “Aimless Love” by Billy Collins
  • Shiza Shahid
  • Founder and CEO, The Malala Fund
  • “Carrying a Ladder” by Kay Ryan
  • Russell Simmons
  • Entrepreneur and Producer
  • “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • President and CEO, The New America Foundation  
  • “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson
  • Clint Smith
  • Poet and Educator
  • On Countee Cullen
  • Anna Deveare Smith
  • Actress, Playwright, Professor
  • “To Prisoners” by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Rosanne Somerson
  • President, Rhode Island School of Design
  • “The Emperor of Ice Cream” by Wallace Stevens
  • Tom Steyer
  • Environmentalist and Philanthropist 
  • “State of the Planet” by Robert Hass
  • Steve Stoute
  • Record Executive and Entrepreneur
  • “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas
  • Lawrence Summers
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • “The One Hoss Shay” by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Lisa Sun
  • Founder and CEO, Project Gravitas
  • “The Red Dress” by Dorothy Parker
  • Amber Tamblyn
  • Actress and Poet
  • “Words” by Anne Sexton
  • Julie Taymor
  • Director
  • “You and I Are Disappearing” by Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Teachers as Scholars
  • Boston, MA
  • On Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
  • Salamishah Tillett
  • Scholar and Activist
  • “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas
  • Davone Tines
  • Opera Singer
  • “Juke Box Love Song” by Langston Hughes
  • Rob Velella
  • Scholar and Performer
  • “The Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Stefan Weitz
  • Director of Search, Microsoft
  • On Poetry and the Internet
  • Jonathan Walton
  • Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard | Pusey Minister, Memorial Church
  • “The Day of Doom” by Michael Wigglesworth
  • Moshe Waldoks
  • Rabbi, Temple Beth Zion
  • “Kaddish” by Allen Ginsberg
  • Andrew Warren
  • Associate Professor of the Humanities, Harvard
  • On Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Randi Weingarten
  • President of the American Federation of Teachers
  • “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
  • Leon Wieseltier
  • Author | Critic | Editor
  • “The Continuous Life” by Mark Strand
  • E.O. Wilson
  • Biologist
  • “The Gray Heron” by Galway Kinnell
  • Damian Woetzel
  • Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet
  • “I cannot dance opon my toes” by Emily Dickinson
  • Alfre Woodard
  • Actor
  • On Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Natalia Zukerman
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • “Four Sonnets” by Edna St. Vincent Millay