Daily Video

August 18, 2009

Poet and Toy Collector Shares Writing

Poet, professor and toy collector Albert Goldbarth is a two-time recipient of the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as a Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

In this video, NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown talks to Golbarth about his latest book of poetry, “To Be Read in 500 Years,” and Golbarth reads his poem “Shawl.”


“We’re here in Albert Goldbarth’s space collection room, and I love this stuff. Sure, I spend most of my time writing poems — it’s my chief-most passion — but as you can tell by looking around the room, this stuff has also taken up a good deal of time and energy, a little bit of money, too, and it really reinvigorates my insides all of the time.” – Albert Golbarth, poet

“I feel to me as if I were born to write, that that’s why I was put on Earth, and I’ve been trying to be the best poet I know how to be.” – Albert Golbarth, poet

“I don’t own a computer, not at home, not at my office at school. My fingertips are computer virginal. They’ve never touched a computer keyboard.” – Albert Goldbarth, poet

Warm Up Questions

1. Do you like poetry? Why or why not?

2. Who is your favorite poet? Why?

3. Name some important poems. Why are they important to you? What is their meaning?

Discussion Questions

1. Did any of Golbarth’s comments about writing stand out for you?

2. How do Golbarth’s method and writings compare or contrast to what you know about other poets?

3. What did you like or dislike about the poem he read?

4. How would you find out if there are any poets in your community? See if there are any performances or book readings, and then talk to the poet about if and how their community has changed their perspective.

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

Art Beat

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