“The United States of Poetry unabashedly celebrates the Word. These days, that's downright courageous.”
Directed by Mark Pellington, produced by Bob Holman and Joshua Blum, "The United States of Poetry" breathes life into the poetry that surrounds us every day. Strikingly photographed, this five-part series travels from coast to coast, from Poet Laureates to up'n'comers, giving viewers a new look at the spoken word. Released in 1996 on PBS, the USOP series is accompanied by a 178 page hardcover, illustrated poetry collection, and a soundtrack released on Holman's Mouth Almighty Records.
Among the 60 poets featured in USOP are Leonard Cohen, Maggie Estep, Allen Ginsberg, former US President Jimmy Carter, Robert Creeley, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lou Reed, Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Wanda Coleman, AI, Sparrow, Thylias Moss, Johnny Depp reading Jack Kerouac, Tracie Morris, Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Miguel Algarin, Joseph Brodsky, Pedro Pietri, Czelaw Milosz, Michael Franti, Henry Real Bird, Lord Buckley, John S. Hall, CD Wright, Larry Eigner, and many more.
"All in all, the show's got everything going for it: It's one of the most entertaining half hours on TV, it's got as much snob appeal as Masterpiece Theatre and it'll put you in the mood faster than a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream and a bear rug." —Time Out New York