Center for Public Humanities: A Film Festival in Miniature
Featuring Content from Poetry in America
In partnership with Poetry in America, the new Center for Public Humanities at Arizona State University presents a film festival in miniature in honor of ASU’s inaugural Humanities Week. The readings, conversations, and performances below celebrate an array of disciplines across the Humanities: from literature, to music, dance, and the visual arts.
The pilot episode of the Poetry in America PBS series dips into poetry, music, theatre, and dance through Emily Dickinson’s ballet-themed rejoinder to her critics, “I cannot dance opon my toes.” The episode features insights by dancer Jill Johnson, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actor Cynthia Nixon, and poet Marie Howe, who call us to consider art-making and the price of audience across time, space, and artistic medium.
To coincide with today’s Marshall Lecture featuring writer and educator Clint Smith, the Center for Public Humanities presents this conversation between Smith and Center Director Elisa New on the poetry of Countee Cullen. Filmed back in 2016, this discussion appears in the dual enrollment course Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop, offered to high-schoolers nationwide for college credit as part of the Center’s Poetry in America for High Schools program at ASU.
Here Alberto Ríos, Piper Center Director and University Professor at Arizona State University, reads his poem “Rabbits and Fire,” detailing the recurring encounter between jackrabbits and a horizon of desert fire. This reading is excerpted from Poetry in America’s upcoming third season, premiering in January 2022 on PBS.
This reading by poet Marilyn Chin of her poem “How I Got That Name” is featured in our dual enrollment course Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop, offered to high-schoolers nationwide for college credit as part of the Center’s Poetry in America for High Schools program at ASU. For more from Marilyn Chin, check out the Season 2 premiere of our PBS series, featuring her ode to San Francisco, “Urban Love Poem.”
About the Center for Public Humanities
The Center for the Public Humanities at Arizona State University is a hub for innovation in the Humanities and adjacent fields, dedicated to creating relevant, engaging interdisciplinary content of the highest quality for learners of all kinds一particularly for those not traditionally served by institutions of higher education.
About Poetry in America
Poetry in America, created and directed by Harvard professor Elisa New, is a PBS series and multi-platform educational initiative that brings poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world.
An engaging, interdisciplinary digital anthology of American poetry, the show aims to enrich American self-understanding by following the diverse paths of American poetry. Along the way, singers and Supreme Court justices, playwrights and Presidents, athletes and architects, poets and physicists, and teachers and their students join the conversation to reflect on essential works of the American literary imagination.
Since its first airing nationwide in April 2018, the series continues to air on PBS stations in most major markets across the U.S. Poetry in America is presented by GBH Boston and distributed nationally by American Public Television (Seasons 1-2) and PBS Plus (Season 3).