Rootabaga Stories

 Full Film

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Full Film

It's life and times of American Master, Carl Sandburg. See the film, The Day Carl Sandburg Died, from American Masters and writer, director and editor, Paul Bonesteel.

Carl Sandburg Paul Bunyan

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Carl Sandburg: A Tall Man

Carl Sandburg was a tall tale. Yes, he was only a man. But, his words were Paul Bunyan; his words were John Henry: impossibly real. The way Sandburg wrote, he gave life to anything and everything around him: from mountains to oceans, from prairies to rows of corn or cotton. Skyscrapers, too.

 Gallery: The Carl Sandburg Archive

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Gallery: The Carl Sandburg Archive

An exploration of the Carl Sandburg Archive from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

 About the Film

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

About the Film

Carl Sandburg was, as he said it, 'The Eternal Hobo.'

For much of the 20th century, Sandburg was synonymous with the American experience, a spokesman on behalf of 'the people.' One of the most successful writers in the English language, Sandburg was a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for his poetry (Cornhuskers, 1918, and Complete Poems, 1950) as well as part of his six-volume Lincoln biography (Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, 1939). He was also a groundbreaking journalist, folk song collector, children’s storyteller, political organizer and activist, novelist, biographer, and captivating performer. Yet, after his death, Sandburg’s literary legacy faded and his poems, once taught in schools across America, were dismissed under the weight of massive critical attack.

'The Day Carl Sandburg Died' features original interviews with Sandburg’s daughter Helga Sandburg Crile, his grandson John Carl Steichen, as well as Pete Seeger, the late and great Studs Terkel and Norman Corwin, poets including Ted Kooser, Marc Kelly Smith and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Grammy-winning musician Dan Zanes, Sandburg biographer Penelope Niven, Ph.D., and notable scholars share stories about Sandburg and reflect on the modern relevance of his vast body of work, including Chicago Poems (1916), The American Songbag (1927), and The People, Yes (1936).

'The Day Carl Sandburg Died' finds Sandburg’s life story and creative legacy as relevant and provocative today as it was in 1916 when Chicago Poems changed American writing.