October 28, 2011 Poet Laureate Philip Levine and Other Noted Poets To Be Featured in "The Poet and the Poem" Radio Series

Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine and more than 20 other noted poets will be featured in the 2012 season of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress.” The radio series, premiering January 11, is available to all public radio stations via the Public Radio Satellite System’s ContentDepot.

In January, “The Poet and the Poem” will celebrate its 35th year of on-the-air programming, from 1977 to 2012.

“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 2012 season lineup are Clarinda Harriss, Gray Jacobik, Forrest Gander, Robert Bringhurst, Michael Gushue, Jody Bolz, Kim Roberts, Fred Joiner, Dan Vera, Carolyn Joyner, Emma Trelles, Belle Waring, Walter Cybulski, Mark Trainer, Askia Muhammad, Jim Daniels, Luis Albert Ambroggio, Carlos Parada Ayala, and possibly the two Witter Bynner fellows still to be chosen by Levine. Gander and Bringhurst were Witter Bynner fellows chosen in April by former U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin.

“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,” said Cavalieri, who launched the series as a live show in 1977, when she was a founding member of Washington radio station WPFW. “Poet Stanley Kunitz said poetry should be an enjoyable conversation between friends. That is what this program is.”

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 book “Water on the Sun” was listed on the Pen American Center’s “Best Books 2006.” Her book “Anna Nicole: Poems” was awarded the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Her new books are a chapbook, “Navy Wife,” and a novella in verse, “Millie’s Sunshine Tiki Villas.”

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 at www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html.


PR 11-209
ISSN 0731-3527