Argentine poet Juan Gelman knew that words could be more powerful than guns. He used poetry to connect with his compatriots while Argentina suffered at the hands of a brutal military junta. Gelman died on Jan. 14 at the age of 83. Jeffrey Brown spoke to Ilan Stavans, a writer and professor of Latino culture at Amherst College. Continue reading
When shaping verse, poet Naomi Shihab Nye reflects on her Palestinian heritage, family and the power of humanity. Nye discusses her most recent compilation of work, "Transfer," and what inspires her to continue crafting thoughtful and expressive poems. Continue reading
"I knew that poets seemed to be miserable," says writer Billy Collins about his younger self, yearning to fit in. While he admits he "faked a miserable character" at the start of his career, he’s since embraced his sense of humor. Jeffrey Brown talks to Collins about his new collection, "Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems." Continue reading
Poet Gregory Orr rhapsodizes on a theme he has explored for nearly a decade: the “beloved,” the things we love. Of course, what we love can change over time, he says. “It can make you crazy by … shifting from … Continue reading
Poet Gregory Orr rhapsodizes on a theme he has explored for nearly a decade: the “beloved,” the things we love. Of course, what we love can change over time, he says. “It can make you crazy by … shifting from one thing to another and yet, of course, that’s also dazzling,” he told the PBS NewsHour. The untitled poem from Orr’s latest collection, “River Inside the River” continues a sequence of poems on that theme.
Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet, diplomat and academic, was among the victims murdered in a terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi. Awoonor’s nephew Kwame Dawes, another renowned poet, was traveling with his uncle to attend a literary festival in Kenya when he was killed. Dawes joins Jeffrey Brown to honor his legacy. Continue reading
PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown, right, and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, center right, launch the series “Where Poetry Lives.” Their first stop: Brooklyn. Photo by Anne Davenport/NewsHour “A short walk in the park, a sax, a lot of poetry: Memories … Continue reading
World-renowned poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney died at age 74 in his native Ireland after a brief illness. Jeffrey Brown looks back on an interview he did with the poet two years ago, when Heaney reflected on his life and work and read a section from his poem, "Album." Continue reading
Liao Yiwu was in his early 30s when he was arrested for writing and performing a poem about the brutality of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989. A new memoir about his time in prison called “For a Song and A Hundred Songs” has just been published.