Poets & Poetry

3:34am

Sat April 6, 2013
Poetry

Does Poetry Still Matter? Yes Indeed, Says NPR NewsPoet

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Tracy K. Smith was NPR's first NewsPoet.
Tina Chang

April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.

We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.

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1:06am

Thu March 21, 2013
Poetry

Revisiting Iraq Through The Eyes Of An Exiled Poet

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 7:45 am

Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi-American poet who teaches in Michigan. She has published five books in Arabic and two in English.
Michael Smith Courtesy of Dunya Mikhail

Poet Dunya Mikhail fled her homeland, Iraq, a few years after the first Gulf War. She had been questioned by Saddam Hussein's government, and state media had labeled her writing and poetry subversive. Mikhail escaped to Jordan and eventually reached the United States, where she made a home for herself — marrying, raising a daughter and becoming a U.S. citizen.

Mikhail never physically returned to Iraq. But she revisits her homeland again and again in her poetry — line by line, stanza by stanza.

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2:42pm

Sat February 16, 2013
Poetry

Pentametron Reveals Unintended Poetry of Twitter Users

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 3:03 pm

That hesitation right before a kiss

I don't remember ever learning this

I've never had a valentine before

I'm not a little baby anymore

It's poetry — rhyming couplets written in perfect iambic pentameter, those ten-syllable lines of alternating emphasis made famous by authors of sonnets and blank verse. But unlike your average metered rhyme, these lines were written by Twitter ... with some help from a program called Pentametron.

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6:23am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Anger Over 'Superman' Author Who Condemns Homosexuality

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:06 am

An image from the cover of the first issue of Superman.
DC Comics AP
  • Former POW John Borling talks with Renee Montagne

3:00am

Tue February 12, 2013
Poetry

In A North Vietnamese Prison, Sharing Poems With 'Taps On The Walls'

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:12 am

Horst Faas Associated Press

The United States was fresh off signing the peace accords to end the long and bloody war in Vietnam when, on Feb. 12, 1973, more than 140 American prisoners of war were set free.

Among the men to start a long journey back home that day was John Borling.

An Air Force fighter pilot, Borling was shot down on his 97th mission over Vietnam on the night of June 1, 1966. He spent the next six years and eight months in a notorious North Vietnamese prison.

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