Third-grader Katherina Mechling, one of the first readers for the Favorite Poem Project, at Boston Public Library. Photo courtesy of Boston University Photo Services.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE POEM?
Robert Pinsky, poet laureate of the United States, is creating an audio and video archive of many Americans saying aloud their favorite poems. Readers selected will be asked to tell why a particular poem is important to them. For example, a New York dancer may tell why she loves William Carlos Williams, a plumber in Michigan might explain his affinity for Auden, a Georgia postal carrier could relate why she relies on Emily Dickinson. Any poem loved by an American is called an "American" poem for purposes of the project. A reader may choose Robert Browning, William Shakespeare or even a poem written in another language accompanied by its English translation. The project will emphasize the relationship between a particular reader and a particular poem, expressed in the vocal, personal rendering of the poem.
The Favorite Poem Project is rooted in two convictions: poetry is above all a vocal art, and American poetry, from the time of Whitman and Dickinson, has been one of our great glories and national treasures. The project, to be housed at the Library of Congress, will be a valuable educational and cultural resource. It will serve as a portrait of the United States at the beginning of the 21st century and will help Americans celebrate and promote their appreciation for poetry. The project will emphasize that poetry is not only for scholars and students, but for people of all ages and professions, of all states and backgrounds.
For the past year, favorite poem readings have brought people together to read their favorite poems to live audiences at bookstores, libraries and museums. The readings continue in cities and towns nationwide, including several Ohio cities.
The effort is a Library of Congress Bicentennial Project and a National Endowment for the Arts Millennium Project, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
For more information on the Favorite Poem Project, visit their website at www.favoritepoem.org or contact New England Foundation for the Arts at 617/951-0010.
More Americans are participating in the arts, according to a National Endowment for the Arts survey. During a 12-month period, half the U.S. adult population, or 97 million people, attended at least one of seven arts activities: jazz, classical music concerts, opera, musical plays, plays, ballet or art museums.
KITTY CARLISLE HART WILL HEADLINE 1999 GOVERNOR'S
Hart is an actress and singer with a long record of achievement in the arts and public service. Born in New Orleans and educated in Europe, she studied in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Hart has appeared on Broadway, in opera and in films, including a starring role in the classic A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers and two films with Bing Crosby, She Loves Me Not and Here is My Heart. Later film appearances include Radio Days and Six Degrees of Separation. For 15 years she was a regular panelist on the television show To Tell the Truth.
Hart was appointed to an Independent Commission to review the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 and in 1991 received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush. She is an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Hart received an honorary doctor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.
She is chairman emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts where she served as chairman from 1976 until 1996 and is the author of Kitty: An Autobiography. She was married to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright-director Moss Hart, who died in 1961.
This newsletter aims to keep Ohio's
decision makers informed about the
work of the state's arts agency.
vWe'd like this to be a two-way
street. If you have comments about
the OAC's involvement in your
District or area of expertise please
send them to Beth Fisher at the
address below. Thanks for reading
The Ohio Arts Council, a state
agency established in 1965, builds
the state through the arts -
economically and culturally -
preserving the past, enhancing the
present and enriching the future for
all Ohioans. The Council believes
the arts should be shared by the
people of Ohio. The arts arise from
public, individual and organizational
efforts. The OAC supports those
Ohio Arts Council
727 E. Main Street
Colbumus, OH 43205-1796