Ed Hirsch

Back to School


September marks the beginning of the academic year, a new season, and an opportunity to reenergize with poetry. Below you'll find poems about returning to the books and ideas that fuel the impulse for knowledge and inspire creativity. Take them with you and into the fall. 


"Books" by Gerald Stern 
"Gradeschool's Large Windows" by Thomas Lux         
"Workshop" by Billy Collins

"When I Heard the Learned Astronomer" by Walt Whitman

"Dreams" by Langston Hughes

"The Hand" by Mary Ruefle

"In the Library" by Charles Simic

"You Begin" by Margaret Atwood

"String Theory Sutra" by Brenda Hillman



How is a Frank O'Hara poem like talking on the telephone? 

Stephen Burt Poet and critic Stephen Burt discusses the "personal force" and informal ideas behind Frank O'Hara's groundbreaking manifesto "Personism" in his essay "Okay I'll Call You / Yes Call Me." Burt will be reading from his new book of poems, Belmont (Graywolf Press, 2013) in the Academy's Summer Reading Series on September 10 at the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library.



Listen to Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey read her poem "Theories of Time and Space," from her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Native Guard: Poems (Mariner Books, 2007).





Photo credit: ŠJohn Rou





In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013

Academy Chancellors Jane Hirshfield, Mark Doty, C. D. Wright, Anne Waldman, and Juan Felipe Herrera remember their friend and colleague, and Academy Chairman Eunice J. Panetta writes about attending Heaney's memorial in Dublin

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