November 19, 2008 Poet Laureate Kay Ryan and Other Noted Poets to be Featured in "The Poet and the Poem" Radio Series

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan and 30 other noted poets will be featured in the 2009 season of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress.” The radio series is available to all public radio stations via the Public Radio Satellite System’s ContentDepot. “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” is a series of one-hour shows featuring the country’s top poets, who discuss and read their poems and are interviewed by host Grace Cavalieri, who records the series at the Library. The programs are available to public radio stations free of charge, with unlimited broadcast rights for three years from the date of uplink. The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry provides funding for the series, which is produced by Forest Woods Media Productions Inc. Other poets in the 2009 season lineup are Cicely Angleton, Francisco Aragón, Sandra Beasley, Eavan Boland, Andrea Hollander Budy, Regie Cabico, Anne Caston, Lucille Clifton, Kyle Dargan, Cathy Eisenhower, F. Ethan Fischer, Sunil Freeman, Martin Galvin, Terrance Hayes, Rod Jellema, Reb Livingston, Sarah Maclay, C.M. Mayo, Richard McCann, Laura Orem, John Rybicky, A. B. Spellman, Silvana Straw, Maria van Beuren, David Whyte and Ed Zahniser. In addition, the two Witter Bynner Fellows to be chosen by Kay Ryan in early 2009 will be featured. Also, the series will include a special on Holocaust survivor and poet Hilda Stern Cohen and a “documentary” visit to a writer’s retreat. “Every time I interview a poet I realize how lucky I am. It’s an energetic exchange, where I sometimes forget we have an audience. Poet Stanley Kunitz said poetry should be an enjoyable conversation between friends. That is what this program is,” said Cavalieri, who launched the series as a live show in 1977, when she was a founding member of Washington radio station WPFW. For 20 years, until 1997, the hour-long show was broadcast weekly on WPFW and distributed nationally by Pacifica Radio and internationally by Voice of America. In 1998, the program moved to the Library of Congress, where the series is now recorded for distribution. Cavalieri has presented more than 2,000 poets on radio to the nation since 1977. Cavalieri herself is a poet and the author of 14 books. She is also a playwright, having written 20 plays that were produced on American stages. Cavalieri has won the Allen Ginsberg Award for poetry, the Pen-Fiction Award for story and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Medal. Her recent book, “Water on the Sun,” was listed on the Pen American Center’s “Best Books 2006.” The series is available to public radio stations; check local radio listings. After broadcast, the programs are available from the Pacifica Radio Archives, (800) 735-0230, extension 261. Audio webcasts of “The Poet and the Poem” are available for listening at


PR 08-219
ISSN 0731-3527