Poetry and the Creative Mind: An All-Star Event

Posted by The G on April 21, 2010 under G Reviews | 12 Comments to Read

Photos by G.

From left: Matt Dillon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Julian Schnabel, Sting and Meryl Streep

To celebrate National Poetry Month, The Academy of American Poets presented the 8th Annual program Poetry and the Creative Mind at Alice Tulley Hall in New York on April 20, 2010.  The all-star event was mind-blowing, to say the least.

From left: Frank Bidart, Gabriel Byrne, Roseanne Cash, Alan Cumming.

More pix and the “set list” after the jump.

As a poet myself, seeing this all-star ensemble read their favorite poems with either an explanation of why they chose what they read or historical information about the piece was such a treat.  Unfortunately, nothing from my book Sketches of Verbal Alchemy made the cut, but I still had a wonderful experience.

Gabriel Byrne

Actor Gabriel Byrne read:

Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats

Gaelic Poem by Anonymous

Roseanne Cash

Singer/Songwriter Roseanne Cash read:

Poetry by Pablo Neruda

Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

After Making Love We Hear Footsteps by Galway Kinnell

Alan Cumming

Actor Alan Cumming read:

Cultural Operations by Jayne Cortez

Matt Dillon

Actor Matt Dillon read:

True Love by Barry Gifford

Something for the Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks and You… by Charles Bukowski

Jhumpa Lahiri

Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri read:

Route Six by Stanley Kunitz

After the Fourth by Mark Doty

Mussels by Mary Oliver

Julian Schnabel

Artist Julian Schnabel read:

Musee des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden


Singer Sting read:

The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin


Alan Cumming and Meryl Streep

Alan Cumming and Meryl Streep read:

The Witch of Coos by Robert Frost

Meryl Streep

Actress Meryl Streep read:

A Cold Spring by Elizabeth Bishop

Meryl Streep!

I highly encourage you to check out these poems for yourself.  Of course, you won’t get to hear the inflections the way these world class actors, actresses, writers, singers and artists presented them, but these poems just might awaken the poet in you.  According2g, that is always welcomed!

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  • Steph M said,

    Thanks so much for sharing this with those of us who live too far away to have attended….like Canada. I will be reading them all later tonight!

  • The G said,

    You are welcome! Thanks for reading!

  • Steph M said,

    FYI…’Yeats’ is the correct spelling (for Gabriel’s poem list).

  • G said,

    oooh! The program was wrong!!! LOL. Thanks!

  • Claire said,

    More thanks… all the way from France!

  • JDM said,

    Inspirational! Thanks G.

  • Byrneholics.com | Gabriel Byrne » And Slowly Read, And Dream of the Soft Look said,

    […] Photo courtesy of The G […]

  • Stella said,

    Thanks for the lovely pics and the listing of the poems read. I grabbed a pic for our site and credited you. Wish I could have been there, especially for Mr. Byrne and for Rosanne Cash! And Alan C. And…well, everyone!

  • G said,

    Thanks for the link Stella. Cool site!

  • jana said,

    loved matt in wild things – cant wait for this http://bit.ly/b0dsi6

  • Ryan said,

    where can I find video of them reading? I’m trying to find audio or video of someone reading “The Witch Of Coos”

  • The G said,

    good luck with that! The security was very tight and there were announcements throughout the performance that said “no photos,” but of course, I had selective hearing that night 😉