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Starting in 1995, NPR’s All Things Considered began presenting poets reading their own works. Introduced by “poetry DJ” Catherine Bowman, these popular short segments allowed listeners to experience poetry as a kind of verbal music, recalling its roots as a spoken art form. Word of Mouth, edited by Bowman, brings together the poems that have been featured on NPR, providing a window onto the dynamic contemporary poetry scene. A child playing with flashes of sunlight in the aisle of an airplane; a woman describing tropical fruit to someone in a faraway country; a man building a deck with his dead father’s hammer; the musings of a Barbie doll participating in a 12-step program: these poems powerfully and lyrically transform the stuff of every day life. A celebration of the poetic voice that includes 33 acclaimed writers, this vibrant anthology proves beyond any doubt that poetry is far more than just words on paper.
Quincy Troupe • Czeslaw Milosz • Campbell McGrath • C.D. Wright • Jack Gilbert • Heather McHugh • David Lehman • Wang Ping • Joseph Brodsky • Paul Beatty • Lorna Dee Cervantes • Paul Muldoon • Lucille Clifton • Naomi Shihab Nye • Richard Blanco • Albert Goldbarth • Carrie Allen McCray • Belle Waring • Russell Edson • Kevin Young • Nuali Di Dhomhnaill • Charles Harper Webb • Denise Duhamel • Yusef Komunyakaa • Hal Sirowitz • Lucia Perillo • Amy Gerstler • Maura Stanton • Marilyn Chin • Philip Booth • Jane Cooper • Diane DiPrima • Elizabeth Spires