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Line by Line: Audio excerpts from the Folger Poetry archives

Since 1968, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series has brought some of the best writers and speakers to the Folger stage. Now, we’re bringing those readings to your headphones. Listen to select recordings from the Folger’s archive of poetry readings.

Galway Kinnell

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell, who died in October of 2014, wrote poems that snuck up on you—starting from their titles to opening lines, they often put the reader right in the middle of a circumstance, conversation, or event.

Kinnell read here at the Folger on March 24, 2008. Listen to his poems “Everyone Was in Love” and “How Could She Not?”

Kinnell published several volumes of poetry, including Strong Is Your Hold ; A New Selected Poems; Imperfect ThirstWhen One Has Lived a Long Time Alone; and Selected Poems, for which he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Kinnell was the recipient of the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry by the Academy of American Poets. His other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, the 2002 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, the 1974 Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and the 1975 Medal of Merit from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Tina Chang

Poet Tina Chang’s work has been lauded as “performing the ancient tasks of remembrance, recovery, and praise.” She read at the Folger on January 29, 2007. Listen to her poems “Precision of a Boy” and “Substantial.”

Tina Chang is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. She is first woman to be named poet laureate of Brooklyn, New York.

Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes read at the Folger Shakespeare Library on February 12, 2007. Listen to him read his poems “Talk” and “The Blue Baraka.”

Terrance  Hayes’s poetry collections include American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (2018); How to Be Drawn (2015, National Book Award Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist); and Lighthead (2010, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist). His most recent collection, To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight, is based on his Bagley Wright lectures. Hayes’s additional honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.


Published September 2018. ©Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. These recordings were produced by Hayden Arp and Teri Cross-Davis. The music is “Retrograde” by Hayden Arp. Ben Lauer is the web producer.